Human Ninein is a Centrosomal Autoantigen Recognized by CREST Patient Sera and Plays a Regulatory Role in Microtubule Nucleation
Volume 3, Issue 7
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Pages 921 - 928http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/cc.3.7.947
Authors: Elizabeth E. Stillwell, Jun Zhou and Harish C. Joshi View affiliations
Centrosome is the major microtubule organizing center in mammalian cells that plays a critical role in a variety of cellular events by the microtubule arrays emanating from it. Despite its significance, the molecular mechanisms underlying the structure and function of the centrosome are still not clear. Herein we describe the identification of three isotypes of human ninein by expression library screening with autoimmune sera from CREST patients. All three ninein isotypes exhibit centrosomal localization throughout the cell cycle when GFP-tagged fusion proteins are expressed transiently in mammalian cells. Construction of serial deletions of GFP-tagged ninein reveals that a stretch of three leucine zippers with a flanking sequence is required and sufficient for centrosomal targeting. Overexpression of ninein results in mislocalization of ?-tubulin, recruiting it to ectopic (non-centrosomal) ninein-containing sites which are not active in nucleating microtubules. In these cells, nucleation of microtubules from the centrosome is also inhibited. These results thus suggest a regulatory role for ninein in microtubule nucleation.