ZYG-9, TAC-1 and ZYG-8 together ensure correct mic
J Cell Sci. 2007 Aug 15;120(Pt 16):2963-73. Epub 2007 Jul 31.
ZYG-9, TAC-1 and ZYG-8 together ensure correct microtubule function throughout the cell cycle of C. elegans embryos.
Bellanger JM, Carter JC, Phillips JB, Canard C, Bowerman B, Gönczy P.
Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), School of Life Sciences, Lausanne, Switzerland.
The early Caenorhabditis elegans embryo is well suited for investigating microtubule-dependent cell division processes. In the one-cell stage, the XMAP215 homologue ZYG-9, associated with the TACC protein TAC-1, promotes microtubule growth during interphase and mitosis, whereas the doublecortin domain protein ZYG-8 is required for anaphase spindle positioning. How ZYG-9, TAC-1 and ZYG-8 together ensure correct microtubule-dependent processes throughout the cell cycle is not fully understood. Here, we identify new temperature-sensitive alleles of zyg-9 and tac-1. Analysis of ZYG-9 and TAC-1 distribution in these mutants identifies amino acids important for centrosomal targeting and for stability of the two proteins. This analysis also reveals that TAC-1 is needed for correct ZYG-9 centrosomal enrichment. Moreover, we find that ZYG-9, but not TAC-1, is limiting for microtubule-dependent processes in one-cell-stage embryos. Using two of these alleles to rapidly inactivate ZYG-9-TAC-1 function, we establish that this complex is required for correct anaphase spindle positioning. Furthermore, we uncover that ZYG-9-TAC-1 and ZYG-8 function together during meiosis, interphase and mitosis. We also find that TAC-1 physically interacts with ZYG-8 through its doublecortin domain, and that in vivo TAC-1 and ZYG-8 are part of a complex that does not contain ZYG-9. Taken together, these findings indicate that ZYG-9-TAC-1 and ZYG-8 act in a partially redundant manner to ensure correct microtubule assembly throughout the cell cycle of early C. elegans embryos.