Jessica L. Feldman, "Patterning the microtubule cytoskeleton during development"
Jan 30, 2013 (Wed) | 12:00 PM -2:00 PM
318 Campus Drive West : Stanford, CA
Microtubules are key regulators of cell shape, transport, and polarity and must be spatially organized to fulfill these distinct functions. Although the centrosome serves as the major microtubule organizing center (MTOC) during animal cell divisions, MTOC function often is reassigned to non-centrosomal sites, such as the apical membrane in epithelial cells, during differentiation. I am using C. elegans intestinal development to study the mechanism of MTOC reassignment. During reassignment, the post-mitotic centrosome migrates towards the future apical surface along with foci of the conserved polarity proteins PAR-3 and PAR-6. Microtubule nucleators appear to emanate directly from the migrating centrosome and co-localize with the PAR foci. This nascent MTOC and associated PAR proteins then spread across the apical membrane. Both the centrosome and PAR-3 appear to be required for the formation of the apical MTOC. Together, these data suggest that the centrosome is required for epithelial polarization through the physical hand-off of MTOC function to the apical surface.
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