Clasp-mediated microtubule bundling regulates persistent motility and contact repulsion in Drosophila macrophages in vivo

B Stramer, S Moreira, T Millard, Iwan Evans, C Y Huang, O Sabet, M Milner, G Dunn, P Martin, Will Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Drosophila melanogaster macrophages are highly migratory cells that lend themselves beautifully to high resolution in vivo imaging experiments. By expressing fluorescent probes to reveal actin and microtubules, we can observe the dynamic interplay of these two cytoskeletal networks as macrophages migrate and interact with one another within a living organism. We show that before an episode of persistent motility, whether responding to developmental guidance or wound cues, macrophages assemble a polarized array of microtubules that bundle into a compass-like arm that appears to anticipate the direction of migration. Whenever cells collide with one another, their microtubule arms transiently align just before cell-cell repulsion, and we show that forcing depolymerization of microtubules by expression of Spastin leads to their defective polarity and failure to contact inhibit from one another. The same is true in orbit/clasp mutants, indicating a pivotal role for this microtubule-binding protein in the assembly and/or functioning of the microtubule arm during polarized migration and contact repulsion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)681-689
Number of pages9
JournalThe Journal of Cell Biology (JCB)
Volume189
Issue number4
Early online date9 May 2010
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2010

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