Reference: Kollman JM, et al. (2008) The Structure of the {gamma}-Tubulin Small Complex: Implications of Its Architecture and Flexibility for Microtubule Nucleation. Mol Biol Cell 19(1):207-15

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Abstract

Monitoring Editor: Tim Stearns The gamma-tubulin small complex (gamma-TuSC) is an evolutionarily conserved heterotetramer essential for microtubule nucleation. We have determined the structure of the S. cerevisiae gamma-TuSC at 25 A resolution by electron microscopy. gamma-TuSC is Y-shaped, with an elongated body connected to two arms. Gold labeling showed that the two gamma-tubulins are located in lobes at the ends of the arms, and the relative orientations of the other gamma-TuSC components were determined by in vivo FRET. The structures of different subpopulations of gamma-TuSC indicate flexibility in the connection between a mobile arm and the rest of the complex, resulting in variation of the relative positions and orientations of the gamma-tubulins. In all of the structures the gamma-tubulins are distinctly separated, a configuration incompatible with the microtubule lattice. The separation of the gamma-tubulins in isolated gamma-TuSC likely plays a role in suppressing its intrinsic microtubule nucleating activity, which is relatively weak until the gamma-TuSC is incorporated into higher-order complexes or localized to microtubule organizing centers. We propose that further movement of the mobile arm is required to bring the gamma-tubulins together in microtubule-like interactions, and provide a template for microtubule growth.

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Journal Article
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Kollman JM, Zelter A, Muller EG, Fox B, Rice LM, Davis TN, Agard DA
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