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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Modulation of the stathmin-like microtubule destabilizing activity of RB3, a neuron-specific member of the SCG10 family, by its N-terminal domain.

RB3 is a neuron-specific homologue of the SCG10/stathmin family proteins, possessing a unique N-terminal membrane-associated domain and the stathmin-like domain at the C terminus, which promotes microtubule (MT) catastrophe and/or tubulin sequestering. We examined herein the contribution of the N-terminal subdomain of RB3 to the regulation of MT dynamics. To begin with, we determined the effects of full-length (RB3-f) and short truncated (RB3-s) forms of RB3 on the polymerization of MT in vitro. RB3-s had a deletion of amino acids 1-75 from the N terminus, leaving the so-called stathmin-like domain, consisting of residues 76-217. Although both RB3-f and RB3-s exhibited MT-depolymerizing activity, RB3-f was less effective. The binding affinity for tubulin was also lower in RB3-f. Direct observation of the dynamics of individual MTs using dark field microscopy revealed that RB3-s slowed MT elongation velocity, increased catastrophes, and reduced rescues. This effect is almost identical to that by stathmin/oncoprotein 18. On the other hand, the MT elongation rate increased at lower concentrations of RB3-f. In addition, RB3-f, indicated higher rescue frequency than control as well as the catastrophe in a dose-dependent manner. The functionality of RB3-f indicated that full-length RB3 has not only stathmin-like MT destabilizing activity but also MT-associated protein-like MT stabilizing activity. Possibly, the balance of these activities is altered in a concentration-dependent manner in vitro. This interesting regulatory role of the unique N-terminal domain of RB3 in MT dynamics would contribute to the physiological regulation of neuronal morphogenesis.[1]


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