gamma-Tubulin has been determined to be a central element of microtubule nucleation and, thus, indispensable for cellular organization of the microtubule. Utilizing the fact that human gamma-tubulin can function in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe, we have generated a unique mutant screening procedure which can specifically select mutants of genes encoding gamma-tubulin-interacting proteins. One of the isolated mutants, cs76, turned out to carry a mutation in the alpha 1-tubulin gene (nda2(+)). This result suggests a direct interaction between the alpha- and gamma-tubulins. We located the mutation site in the nda2 gene and characterized the mutant phenotype. Our results demonstrate the importance of the alpha-/gamma-tubulin interaction in microtubule nucleation and should complement previous knowledge.
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