With eight flagella of four different lengths, the parasitic protist Giardia is an ideal model to evaluate flagellar assembly and length regulation. To determine how four different flagellar lengths are maintained, we used live-cell quantitative imaging and mathematical modeling of conserved components of intraflagellar transport (IFT)-mediated assembly and kinesin-13-mediated disassembly in different flagellar pairs. Each axoneme has a long cytoplasmic region extending from the basal body, and transitions to a canonical membrane-bound flagellum at the 'flagellar pore'. We determined that each flagellar pore is the site of IFT accumulation and injection, defining a diffusion barrier functionally analogous to the transition zone. IFT-mediated assembly is length-independent, as train size, speed, and injection frequencies are similar for all flagella. We demonstrate that kinesin-13 localization to the flagellar tips is inversely correlated to flagellar length. Therefore, we propose a model where a length-dependent disassembly mechanism controls multiple flagellar lengths within the same cell.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Scott C Dawson
- Shane G McInally
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Gregory J Pazour, University of Massachusetts Medical School, United States
© 2019, McInally et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The major microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) in animal cells, the centrosome, comprises a pair of centrioles surrounded by pericentriolar material (PCM), which nucleates and anchors microtubules. Centrosome assembly depends on PCM binding to centrioles, PCM self-association and dynein-mediated PCM transport, but the self-assembly properties of PCM components in interphase cells are poorly understood. Here, we used experiments and modeling to study centriole-independent features of interphase PCM assembly. We showed that when centrioles are lost due to PLK4 depletion or inhibition, dynein-based transport and self-clustering of PCM proteins are sufficient to form a single compact MTOC, which generates a dense radial microtubule array. Interphase self-assembly of PCM components depends on γ-tubulin, pericentrin, CDK5RAP2 and ninein, but not NEDD1, CEP152 or CEP192. Formation of a compact acentriolar MTOC is inhibited by AKAP450-dependent PCM recruitment to the Golgi or by randomly organized CAMSAP2-stabilized microtubules, which keep PCM mobile and prevent its coalescence. Linking of CAMSAP2 to a minus-end-directed motor leads to the formation of an MTOC, but MTOC compaction requires cooperation with pericentrin-containing self-clustering PCM. Our data reveal that interphase PCM contains a set of components that can self-assemble into a compact structure and organize microtubules, but PCM self-organization is sensitive to motor- and microtubule-based rearrangement.
During mitosis, individual microtubules make attachments to chromosomes via a specialized protein complex called the kinetochore to faithfully segregate the chromosomes to daughter cells. Translocation of kinetochores on the lateral surface of the microtubule has been proposed to contribute to high fidelity chromosome capture and alignment at the mitotic midzone, but has been difficult to observe in vivo because of spatial and temporal constraints. To overcome these barriers, we used total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy to track the interactions between microtubules, kinetochore proteins, and other microtubule-associated proteins in lysates from metaphase-arrested Saccharomyces cerevisiae. TIRF microscopy and cryo-correlative light microscopy and electron tomography indicated that we successfully reconstituted interactions between intact kinetochores and microtubules. These kinetochores translocate on the lateral microtubule surface toward the microtubule plus end and transition to end-on attachment, whereupon microtubule depolymerization commences. The directional kinetochore movement is dependent on the highly processive kinesin-8, Kip3. We propose that Kip3 facilitates stable kinetochore attachment to microtubule plus ends through its abilities to move the kinetochore laterally on the surface of the microtubule and to regulate microtubule plus end dynamics.