Plant microtubules are intrinsically more dynamic than those from animals. We know little about the dynamics of the interaction of plant microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) with microtubules. Here, we have used tobacco and Arabidopsis MAPs with relative molecular mass 65 kDa (NtMAP65-1a and AtMAP65-1), to study their interaction with microtubules in vivo. Using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching we report that the turnover of both NtMAP65-1a and AtMAP65-1 bound to microtubules is four- to fivefold faster than microtubule treadmilling (13 seconds compared with 56 seconds, respectively) and that the replacement of NtMAP65-1a on microtubules is by random association rather than by translocation along microtubules. MAP65 will only bind polymerised microtubules and not its component tubulin dimers. The turnover of NtMAP65-1a and AtMAP65-1 on microtubules is similar in the interphase cortical array, the preprophase band and the phragmoplast, strongly suggesting that their role in these arrays is the same. NtMAP65-1a and AtMAP65-1 are not observed to bind microtubules in the metaphase spindle and their rate of recovery is consistent with their cytoplasmic localisation. In addition, the dramatic reappearance of NtMAP65-1a on microtubules at the spindle midzone in anaphase B suggests that NtMAP65-1a is controlled post-translationally. We conclude that the dynamic properties of these MAPs in vivo taken together with the fact that they have been shown not to effect microtubule polymerisation in vitro, makes them ideally suited to a role in crossbridging microtubules that need to retain spatial organisation in rapidly reorganising microtubule arrays.
- microtubule-associated protein
- CYTOKINETIC PHRAGMOPLAST