Microtubule-associated proteins and motors required for ectopic microtubule array formation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Brianna R. King, Janet B. Meehl, Tamira Vojnar, Mark Winey, Eric G. Muller, Trisha N. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The mitotic spindle is resilient to perturbation due to the concerted, and sometimes redundant, action of motors and microtubule-associated proteins. Here, we utilize an inducible ectopic microtubule nucleation site in the nucleus of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to study three necessary steps in the formation of a bipolar array: the recruitment of the γ-tubulin complex, nucleation and elongation of microtubules (MTs), and the organization of MTs relative to each other. This novel tool, an Spc110 chimera, reveals previously unreported roles of the microtubule-associated proteins Stu2, Bim1, and Bik1, and the motors Vik1 and Kip3. We report that Stu2 and Bim1 are required for nucleation and that Bik1 and Kip3 promote nucleation at the ectopic site. Stu2, Bim1, and Kip3 join their homologs XMAP215, EB1 and kinesin-8 as promoters of microtubule nucleation, while Bik1 promotes MT nucleation indirectly via its role in SPB positioning. Furthermore, we find that the nucleation activity of Stu2 in vivo correlates with its polymerase activity in vitro. Finally, we provide the first evidence that Vik1, a subunit of Kar3/Vik1 kinesin-14, promotes microtubule minus end focusing at the ectopic site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 24 2021


  • microtubule associated
  • microtubule nucleation
  • microtubule organization
  • motors
  • proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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