Katanin inhibition prevents the redistribution of γ-tubulin at mitosis

Dan Buster, Karen McNally, Francis J. McNally

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Katanin is a microtubule-severing protein that is concentrated at mitotic spindle poles but katanin's function in the mitotic spindle has not been previously reported. Inhibition of katanin with either of two dominant-negative proteins or a subunit-specific antibody prevented the redistribution of γ-tubulin from the centrosome to the spindle in prometaphase CV-1 cells as assayed by immunofluorescence microscopy. Because γ-tubulin complexes can bind to pre-existing microtubule minus ends, these results could be explained by a model in which the broad distribution of γ-tubulin in the mitotic spindle is in part due to cytosolic γ-tubulin ring complexes binding to microtubule minus ends generated by katanin-mediated microtubule severing. Because microtubules depolymerize at their ends, we hypothesized that a greater number of microtubule ends generated by severing in the spindle would result in an increased rate of spindle disassembly when polymerization is blocked with nocodazole. Indeed, katanin inhibition slowed the rate of spindle microtubule disassembly in the presence of nocodazole. However, katanin inhibition did not affect the rate of exchange between polymerized and unpolymerized tubulin as assayed by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching. These results support a model in which katanin activity regulates the number of microtubule ends in the spindle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1083-1092
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2002


  • γ-tubulin
  • Centrosome
  • Katanin
  • Microtubule
  • Mitosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Katanin inhibition prevents the redistribution of γ-tubulin at mitosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this