Organization of microtubule assemblies in Dictyostelium syncytia depends on the microtubule crosslinker, Ase1. Academic Article uri icon


  • It has long been known that the interphase microtubule (MT) array is a key cellular scaffold that provides structural support and directs organelle trafficking in eukaryotic cells. Although in animal cells, a combination of centrosome nucleating properties and polymer dynamics at the distal microtubule ends is generally sufficient to establish a radial, polar array of MTs, little is known about how effector proteins (motors and crosslinkers) are coordinated to produce the diversity of interphase MT array morphologies found in nature. This diversity is particularly important in multinucleated environments where multiple MT arrays must coexist and function. We initiate here a study to address the higher ordered coordination of multiple, independent MT arrays in a common cytoplasm. Deletion of a MT crosslinker of the MAP65/Ase1/PRC1 family disrupts the spatial integrity of multiple arrays in Dictyostelium discoideum, reducing the distance between centrosomes and increasing the intermingling of MTs with opposite polarity. This result, coupled with previous dynein disruptions suggest a robust mechanism by which interphase MT arrays can utilize motors and crosslinkers to sense their position and minimize overlap in a common cytoplasm.

publication date

  • February 2016