Human EB1 was originally cloned as a protein that interacts with the COOH terminus of adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) . Interestingly, this interaction is often disrupted in colon cancer, due to mutations in APC. EB1 also interacts with the plus-ends of microtubules and targets APC to microtubule tips [2-6]. Since APC is detected on the kinetochores of chromosomes, it has been hypothesized that the EB1-APC interaction connects microtubule spindles to the kinetochores and regulates microtubule stability [7-9]. In yeast, EB1 regulates microtubule dynamics [6, 10, 11], and its binding domain in APC may be conserved in Kar9, an EB1 binding protein involved in the microtubule-capturing mechanism [12-14]. These results suggest that the interaction of EB1 and APC is important and may be conserved. However, it is largely unknown whether the EB1-APC interaction affects microtubule dynamics. Here, we show that EB1 potently promotes microtubule polymerization in vitro and in permeabilized cells, but, surprisingly, only in the presence of the COOH-terminal EB1 binding domain of APC (C-APC). Significantly, this C-APC activity is abolished by phosphorylation, which also disrupts its ability to bind to EB1. Furthermore, yeast EB1 protein effectively substitutes for the human protein but also requires C-APC in promoting microtubule polymerization. Finally, C-APC is able to promote microtubule polymerization when stably expressed in APC mutant cells, demonstrating the ability of C-APC to promote microtubule assembly in vivo. Thus, the interaction between EB1 and APC plays an essential role in the regulation of microtubule polymerization, and a similar mechanism may be conserved in yeast.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)