γ-tubulin controls neuronal microtubule polarity independently of Golgi outposts

Michelle M. Nguyen, Christie J. McCracken, E. S. Milner, Daniel J. Goetschius, Alexis T. Weiner, Melissa K. Long, Nick L. Michael, Sean Munro, Melissa M. Rolls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neurons have highly polarized arrangements of microtubules, but it is incompletely understood how microtubule polarity is controlled in either axons or dendrites. To explore whether microtubule nucleation by γ-tubulin might contribute to polarity, we analyzed neuronal microtubules in Drosophila containing gain- or loss-of-function alleles of γ-tubulin. Both increased and decreased activity of γ-tubulin, the core microtubule nucleation protein, altered microtubule polarity in axons and dendrites, suggesting a close link between regulation of nucleation and polarity. To test whether nucleation might locally regulate polarity in axons and dendrites, we examined the distribution of γ-tubulin. Consistent with local nucleation, tagged and endogenous γ-tubulins were found in specific positions in dendrites and axons. Because the Golgi complex can house nucleation sites, we explored whether microtubule nucleation might occur at dendritic Golgi outposts. However, distinct Golgi outposts were not present in all dendrites that required regulated nucleation for polarity. Moreover, when we dragged the Golgi out of dendrites with an activated kinesin, γ-tubulin remained in dendrites. We conclude that regulated microtubule nucleation controls neuronal microtubule polarity but that the Golgi complex is not directly involved in housing nucleation sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2039-2050
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Volume25
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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    Nguyen, M. M., McCracken, C. J., Milner, E. S., Goetschius, D. J., Weiner, A. T., Long, M. K., Michael, N. L., Munro, S., & Rolls, M. M. (2014). γ-tubulin controls neuronal microtubule polarity independently of Golgi outposts. Molecular biology of the cell, 25(13), 2039-2050. https://doi.org/10.1091/mbc.E13-09-0515