Microtubule assembly is initiated by the gamma-tubulin ring complex (gamma-TuRC). In yeast, the microtubule is nucleated from gamma-TuRC anchored to the amino-terminus of the spindle pole body component Spc110p, which interacts with calmodulin (Cmd1p) at the carboxy-terminus. However, mammalian protein that anchors gamma-TuRC remains to be elucidated. A giant coiled-coil protein, CG-NAP (centrosome and Golgi localized PKN-associated protein), was localized to the centrosome via the carboxyl-terminal region. This region was found to interact with calmodulin by yeast two-hybrid screening, and it shares high homology with the carboxyl-terminal region of another centrosomal coiled-coil protein, kendrin. The amino-terminal region of either CG-NAP or kendrin indirectly associated with gamma-tubulin through binding with gamma-tubulin complex protein 2 (GCP2) and/or GCP3. Furthermore, endogenous CG-NAP and kendrin were coimmunoprecipitated with each other and with endogenous GCP2 and gamma-tubulin, suggesting that CG-NAP and kendrin form complexes and interact with gamma-TuRC in vivo. These proteins were localized to the center of microtubule asters nucleated from isolated centrosomes. Pretreatment of the centrosomes by antibody to CG-NAP or kendrin moderately inhibited the microtubule nucleation; moreover, the combination of these antibodies resulted in stronger inhibition. These results imply that CG-NAP and kendrin provide sites for microtubule nucleation in the mammalian centrosome by anchoring gamma-TuRC.
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