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    Microtubule nucleation is spatiotemporally regulated in cells by several known molecules, including the template γ-tubulin and the polymerase XMAP215. The role of XMAP215 in nucleation is under debate, specifically whether it acts independently as a polymerase or acts dependently with γ-tubulin. We first confirm XMAP215 as a classically defined nucleator that reduces the nucleation lag seen in bulk tubulin assembly. Secondly, using deletion constructs, we probe the domain requirements for XMAP215 to promote microtubule nucleation. We show that its ability to nucleate microtubules in purified solutions correlates with its ability to elongate existing microtubules and does not depend on the number of tumor overexpressed gene (TOG) domains. Finally, we show that XMAP215 and γ-tubulin promote αβ-tubulin assembly in an additive, not synergistic, manner. Thus, their modes of action during microtubule nucleation are distinct. These findings suggest there are at least two independent processes in nucleation, one promoted by γ-tubulin and one promoted by XMAP215. We propose that XMAP215 accelerates the addition of subunits to existing nucleation intermediates formed either spontaneously or by oligomers of γ-tubulin. [Media: see text].


    Brianna R King, Michelle Moritz, Haein Kim, David A Agard, Charles L Asbury, Trisha N Davis. XMAP215 and γ-tubulin additively promote microtubule nucleation in purified solutions. Molecular biology of the cell. 2020 Sep 15;31(20):2187-2194

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    PMID: 32726183

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