XMAP215 polymerase activity is built by combining multiple tubulin-binding TOG domains and a basic lattice-binding region.

Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Pfotenhauerstrasse 108, 01307 Dresden, Germany.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 02/2011; 108(7):2741-6. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1016498108
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT XMAP215/Dis1 family proteins positively regulate microtubule growth. Repeats at their N termini, called TOG domains, are important for this function. While TOG domains directly bind tubulin dimers, it is unclear how this interaction translates to polymerase activity. Understanding the functional roles of TOG domains is further complicated by the fact that the number of these domains present in the proteins of different species varies. Here, we take advantage of a recent crystal structure of the third TOG domain from Caenorhabditis elegans, Zyg9, and mutate key residues in each TOG domain of XMAP215 that are predicted to be important for interaction with the tubulin heterodimer. We determined the contributions of the individual TOG domains to microtubule growth. We show that the TOG domains are absolutely required to bind free tubulin and that the domains differentially contribute to XMAP215's overall affinity for free tubulin. The mutants' overall affinity for free tubulin correlates well with polymerase activity. Furthermore, we demonstrate that an additional basic region is important for targeting to the microtubule lattice and is critical for XMAP215 to function at physiological concentrations. Using this information, we have engineered a "bonsai" protein, with two TOG domains and a basic region, that has almost full polymerase activity.

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    ABSTRACT: XMAP215 family members are potent microtubule (MT) polymerases, with mutants displaying reduced MT growth rates and aberrant spindle morphologies. XMAP215 proteins contain arrayed TOG domains that bind tubulin. Whether these TOG domains are architecturally equivalent is unknown. Here, we present crystal structures of TOG4 from Drosophila Msps and human ch-TOG. These TOG4 structures architecturally depart from the structures of TOG domains 1 and 2, revealing a conserved domain bend that predicts a novel engagement with α-tubulin. In vitro assays show differential tubulin-binding affinities across the TOG array, as well as differential effects on MT polymerization. We used Drosophila S2 cells depleted of endogenous Msps to assess the importance of individual TOG domains. While a TOG1-4 array largely rescues MT polymerization rates, mutating tubulin-binding determinants in any single TOG domain dramatically reduces rescue activity. Our work highlights the structurally diverse, yet positionally conserved TOG array that drives MT polymerization.
    Molecular biology of the cell. 06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Stu2p/XMAP215 proteins are essential microtubule polymerases that use multiple αβ-tubulin-interacting TOG domains to bind microtubule plus ends and catalyze fast microtubule growth. We report here the structure of the TOG2 domain from Stu2p bound to yeast αβ-tubulin. Like TOG1, TOG2 binds selectively to a fully 'curved' conformation of αβ-tubulin, incompatible with a microtubule lattice. We also show that TOG1-TOG2 binds non-cooperatively to two αβ-tubulins. Preferential interactions between TOGs and fully curved αβ-tubulin that cannot exist elsewhere in the microtubule explain how these polymerases localize to the extreme microtubule end. We propose that these polymerases promote elongation because their linked TOG domains concentrate unpolymerized αβ-tubulin near curved subunits already bound at the microtubule end. This tethering model can explain catalyst-like behavior and also predicts that the polymerase action changes the configuration of the microtubule end.
    eLife. 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Plant microtubules, composed of tubulin GTPase, are irreplaceable cellular components that regulate the directions of cell expansion and cell division, chromosome segregation and cell plate formation. To accomplish these functions, plant cells organize microtubule structures by regulating microtubule dynamics. Each microtubule localizes to the proper position with repeated growth and shortening. Although it is possible to reconstitute microtubule dynamics with pure tubulin solution in vitro, many microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) govern microtubule dynamics in cells. In plants, major MAPs are identified as microtubule stabilizers (CLASP and MAP65 etc.), microtubule destabilizers (kinesin-13, katanin, MAP18 and MDP25), and microtubule dynamics promoters (EB1, MAP215, MOR1, MAP200, SPR2). Mutant analyses with forward and reverse genetics have shown the importance of microtubules and individual MAPs in plants. However, it is difficult to understand how each MAP regulates microtubule dynamics, such as growth and shortening, through mutant analyses. In vitro reconstitution analyses with individual purified MAPs and tubulin are powerful tools to reveal how each MAP regulates microtubule dynamics at the molecular level. In this review, I summarize the results of in vitro reconstitution analyses and introduce current models of how each MAP regulates microtubule dynamic instability.
    Frontiers in Plant Science 08/2014; 5:409. · 3.64 Impact Factor

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