Local and Acute Optogenetic Control of Microtubule Dynamics in Live Cells



Microtubules (MTs) are dynamic cytoskeleton polymers forming a polarized intracellular network that provides structural support, facilitates intracellular transport and drives chromosome segregation. To investigate how microtubules control cell dynamics with high spatial and temporal accuracy, we developed a photo-inactivated variant of the key MT plus-end adaptor EB1, that allows local and acute manipulation of MT growth dynamics by controlling the recruitment of EB-dependent plus end tracking proteins (+TIPs) to MT ends. Blue light-induced rapid and reversible dissociation of the +TIP complex from MTs results in a MT growth rate decrease and induces depolymerization of cell edge associated MTs (van Haren et al. 2018, Nat. Cell Biol. 20, 252–261). I will discuss our development and validation of this optogenetic tool and results supporting independent roles of +TIP complexes and the canonical MT polymerase XMAP215/CKAP5 in promoting physiological MT growth rates in cells, as well as ongoing work investigating the consequences of local modulation of MT growth on neuron morphogenesis.

You May Also Like
Loading Comments...