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

A Rae1-containing ribonucleoprotein complex is required for mitotic spindle assembly.

Centrosome-independent microtubule polymerization around chromosomes has been shown to require a local gradient of RanGTP, which discharges mitotic cargoes from the nuclear import receptor importin beta. Here, we have used an activity-based assay in Xenopus egg extracts to purify the mRNA export protein Rae1 as a spindle assembly factor regulated by this pathway. Rae1 is a microtubule-associated protein that binds directly to importin beta. Depletion of Rae1 from extracts or cells severely inhibits mitotic spindle assembly. A purified Rae1 complex stabilizes microtubules in egg extracts in a RanGTP/importin beta-regulated manner. Interestingly, Rae1 exists in a large ribonucleoprotein complex, which requires RNA for its activity to control microtubule dynamics in vitro. Furthermore, we provide evidence that RNA associates with the mitotic spindle and that it plays a direct, translation-independent role in spindle assembly. Our studies reveal an unexpected function for RNA in spindle morphogenesis.[1]


  1. A Rae1-containing ribonucleoprotein complex is required for mitotic spindle assembly. Blower, M.D., Nachury, M., Heald, R., Weis, K. Cell (2005) [Pubmed]
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