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A liquid +TIP-network drives microtubule dynamics through tubulin condensation

Published inBioRxiv
Publication date2021
Abstract

Tubulin dimers assemble into a dynamic microtubule network throughout the cell. Microtubule dynamics and network organization must be precisely tuned for the microtubule cytoskeleton to regulate a dazzling array of dynamic cell behaviors. Since tubulin concentration determines microtubule growth, we studied here a novel regulatory mechanism of microtubule dynamics: local tubulin condensation. We discovered that two microtubule tip-binding proteins, CLIP-170 and EB3, undergo phase separation and form an EB3/CLIP-170 droplet at the growing microtubule tip. We prove that this +TIP-droplet has the capacity to locally condense tubulin. This process of tubulin co-condensation is spatially initiated at the microtubule tip and temporally regulated to occur only when there is tip growth. Tubulin condensation at the growing microtubule tip increases growth speeds three-fold and strongly reduces depolymerization events. With this work we establish a new mechanism to regulate microtubule dynamics by enrichment of tubulin at strategically important locations: the growing microtubule tips.

Citation (ISO format)
MIESCH, Julie et al. A liquid +TIP-network drives microtubule dynamics through tubulin condensation. In: BioRxiv, 2021. doi: 10.1101/2021.09.13.459419
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Creation09/21/2021 5:35:00 PM
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