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Open AccessArticle

Functional Divergence of Microtubule-Associated TPX2 Family Members in Arabidopsis thaliana

1
Institute of Experimental Botany of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Centre of the Region Hana for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research, Šlechtitelů 31, CZ-77900 Olomouc, Czech Republic
2
Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Gatersleben, Corrensstrasse 3, 06466 Seeland, Germany
3
Department of Botany, Faculty of Science, Palacký University Olomouc, Šlechtitelů 27, CZ-78371 Olomouc, Czech Republic
4
Department of Plant Biotechnology and Bioinformatics, Ghent University, 9052 Ghent, Belgium
5
Center for Plant Systems Biology, VIB, 9052 Ghent, Belgium
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(6), 2183; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21062183
Received: 28 February 2020 / Revised: 18 March 2020 / Accepted: 19 March 2020 / Published: 22 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Cell and Organism Development)
TPX2 (Targeting Protein for Xklp2) is an evolutionary conserved microtubule-associated protein important for microtubule nucleation and mitotic spindle assembly. The protein was described as an activator of the mitotic kinase Aurora A in humans and the Arabidopsis AURORA1 (AUR1) kinase. In contrast to animal genomes that encode only one TPX2 gene, higher plant genomes encode a family with several TPX2-LIKE gene members (TPXL). TPXL genes of Arabidopsis can be divided into two groups. Group A proteins (TPXL2, 3, 4, and 8) contain Aurora binding and TPX2_importin domains, while group B proteins (TPXL1, 5, 6, and 7) harbor an Xklp2 domain. Canonical TPX2 contains all the above-mentioned domains. We confirmed using in vitro kinase assays that the group A proteins contain a functional Aurora kinase binding domain. Transient expression of Arabidopsis TPX2-like proteins in Nicotiana benthamiana revealed preferential localization to microtubules and nuclei. Co-expression of AUR1 together with TPX2-like proteins changed the localization of AUR1, indicating that these proteins serve as targeting factors for Aurora kinases. Taken together, we visualize the various localizations of the TPX2-LIKE family in Arabidopsis as a proxy to their functional divergence and provide evidence of their role in the targeted regulation of AUR1 kinase activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana; targeting protein for Xklp2; aurora kinase 1; phylogeny; kinase assay; in vivo co-localization Arabidopsis thaliana; targeting protein for Xklp2; aurora kinase 1; phylogeny; kinase assay; in vivo co-localization
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Dvořák Tomaštíková, E.; Rutten, T.; Dvořák, P.; Tugai, A.; Ptošková, K.; Petrovská, B.; van Damme, D.; Houben, A.; Doležel, J.; Demidov, D. Functional Divergence of Microtubule-Associated TPX2 Family Members in Arabidopsis thaliana. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 2183.

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