Microtubules are dynamic structures whose proper rearrangement during the cell cycle is essential for the positioning of membranes during interphase and for chromosome segregation during mitosis. The previous discovery of a cyclin B/cdc2-activated microtubule-severing activity in M- phase Xenopus egg extracts suggested that a microtubule-severing protein might play an important role in cell cycle-dependent changes in microtubule dynamics and organization. However, the isolation of three different microtubule-severing proteins, p56, EF1α, and katanin, has only confused the issue because none of these proteins is directly activated by cyclin B/cdc2. Here we use immunodepletion with antibodies specific for a vertebrate katanin homologue to demonstrate that katanin is responsible for the majority of M- phase severing activity in Xenopus eggs. This result suggests that katanin is responsible for changes in microtubules occurring at mitosis. Immunofluorescence analysis demonstrated that katanin is concentrated at a microtubule-dependent structure at mitotic spindle poles in Xenopus A6 cells and in human fibroblasts, suggesting a specific role in microtubule disassembly at spindle poles. Surprisingly, katanin was also found in adult mouse brain, indicating that katanin may have other functions distinct from its mitotic role.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||Molecular Biology of the Cell|
|State||Published - 1998|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology