Dynactin links cytoplasmic dynein and other motors to cargo and is involved in organizing radial microtubule arrays. The largest subunit of dynactin, p150glued, binds the dynein intermediate chain and has an N-terminal microtubule-binding domain. To examine the role of microtubule binding by p150glued, we replaced the wild-type p150glued in Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells with mutant ΔN-p150 lacking residues 1-200, which is unable to bind microtubules. Cells treated with cytochalasin D were used for analysis of cargo movement along microtubules. Strikingly, although the movement of both membranous organelles and messenger ribonucleoprotein complexes by dynein and kinesin-1 requires dynactin, the substitution of full-length p150glued with ΔN-p150 glued has no effect on the rate, processivity, or step size of transport. However, truncation of the microtubule-binding domain of p150 glued has a dramatic effect on cell division, resulting in the generation of multipolar spindles and free microtubule-organizing centers. Thus, dynactin binding to microtubules is required for organizing spindle microtubule arrays but not cargo motility in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology