Revisiting the tubulin cofactors and Arl2 in the regulation of soluble αβ-tubulin pools and their effect on microtubule dynamics
- Jawdat Al-Bassam
- Molecular biology of the cell
Asymmetric division of neural stem cells is a fundamental strategy to balance their self-renewal and differentiation. It is long thought that microtubules are not essential for cell polarity in asymmetrically dividing Drosophila melanogaster neuroblasts (NBs; neural stem cells). Here, we show that Drosophila ADP ribosylation factor like-2 (Arl2) and Msps, a known microtubule-binding protein, control cell polarity and spindle orientation of NBs. Upon arl2 RNA intereference, Arl2-GDP expression, or arl2 deletions, microtubule abnormalities and asymmetric division defects were observed. Conversely, overactivation of Arl2 leads to microtubule overgrowth and depletion of NBs. Arl2 regulates microtubule growth and asymmetric division through localizing Msps to the centrosomes in NBs. Moreover, Arl2 regulates dynein function and in turn centrosomal localization of D-TACC and Msps. Arl2 physically associates with tubulin cofactors C, D, and E. Arl2 functions together with tubulin-binding cofactor D to control microtubule growth, Msps localization, and NB self-renewal. Therefore, Arl2- and Msps-dependent microtubule growth is a new paradigm regulating asymmetric division of neural stem cells.