Three microtubule severing enzymes contribute to the "Pacman- flux" machinery that moves chromosomes

Dong Zhang, Gregory C. Rogers, Daniel W. Buster, David J. Sharp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

123 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chromosomes move toward mitotic spindle poles by a Pacman-flux mechanism linked to microtubule depolymerization: chromosomes actively depolymerize attached microtubule plus ends (Pacman) while being reeled in to spindle poles by the continual poleward flow of tubulin subunits driven by minus-end depolymerization (flux). We report that Pacman-flux in Drosophila melanogaster incorporates the activities of three different microtubule severing enzymes, Spastin, Fidgetin, and Katanin. Spastin and Fidgetin are utilized to stimulate microtubule minus-end depolymerization and flux. Both proteins concentrate at centrosomes, where they catalyze the turnover of γ-tubulin, consistent with the hypoth esis that they exert their influence by releasing stabilizing γ-tubulin ring complexes from minus ends. In contrast, Katanin appears to function primarily on anaphase chromosomes, where it stimulates microtubule plus-end depolymerization and Pacman-based chromatid motility. Collectively, these findings reveal novel and significant roles for microtubule severing within the spindle and broaden our understanding of the molecular machinery used to move chromosomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-242
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Volume177
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 23 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

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