Regulation of microtubule dynamics and functions

Team Publications

Year of publication 2019

Judith Souphron, Satish Bodakuntla, A. S. Jijumon, Goran Lakisic, Alexis M. Gautreau, Carsten Janke, Maria M. Magiera (2019 Apr 17)

Purification of tubulin with controlled post-translational modifications by polymerization–depolymerization cycles

Journal of cell science Learn more
Summary

In vitro reconstitutions of microtubule assemblies have provided essential mechanistic insights into the molecular bases of microtubule dynamics and their interactions with associated proteins. The tubulin code has emerged as a regulatory mechanism for microtubule functions, which suggests that tubulin isotypes and post-translational modifications (PTMs) play important roles in controlling microtubule functions. To investigate the tubulin code mechanism, it is essential to analyze different tubulin variants in vitro. Until now, this has been difficult, as most reconstitution experiments have used heavily post-translationally modified tubulin purified from brain tissue. Therefore, we developed a protocol that allows purification of tubulin with controlled PTMs from limited sources through cycles of polymerization and depolymerization. Although alternative protocols using affinity purification of tubulin also yield very pure tubulin, our protocol has the unique advantage of selecting for fully functional tubulin, as non-polymerizable tubulin is excluded in the successive polymerization cycles. It thus provides a novel procedure for obtaining tubulin with controlled PTMs for in vitro reconstitution experiments. We describe specific procedures for tubulin purification from adherent cells, cells grown in suspension cultures and single mouse brains. The protocol can be combined with drug treatment, transfection of cells before tubulin purification or enzymatic treatment during the purification process. The amplification of cells and their growth in spinner bottles takes ~13 d; the tubulin purification takes 6–7 h. The tubulin can be used in total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF)-microscopy-based experiments or pelleting assays for the investigation of intrinsic properties of microtubules and their interactions with associated proteins.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41596-019-0153-7

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Catherine Strassel, Maria M Magiera, Arnaud Dupuis, Morgane Batzenschlager, Agnès Hovasse, Irina Pleines, Paul Guéguen, Anita Eckly, Sylvie Moog, Léa Mallo, Quentin Kimmerlin, Stéphane Chappaz, Jean-Marc Strub, Natarajan Kathiresan, Henri de la Salle, Alain Van Dorsselaer, Claude Ferec, Jean-Yves Py, Christian Gachet, Christine Schaeffer-Reiss, Benjamin T Kile, Carsten Janke, François Lanza (2019 Feb 15)

An essential role for α4A-tubulin in platelet biogenesis.

Life science alliance : DOI : e201900309 Learn more
Summary

During platelet biogenesis, microtubules (MTs) are arranged into submembranous structures (the marginal band) that encircle the cell in a single plane. This unique MT array has no equivalent in any other mammalian cell, and the mechanisms responsible for this particular mode of assembly are not fully understood. One possibility is that platelet MTs are composed of a particular set of tubulin isotypes that carry specific posttranslational modifications. Although β1-tubulin is known to be essential, no equivalent roles of α-tubulin isotypes in platelet formation or function have so far been reported. Here, we identify α4A-tubulin as a predominant α-tubulin isotype in platelets. Similar to β1-tubulin, α4A-tubulin expression is up-regulated during the late stages of megakaryocyte differentiation. Missense mutations in the α4A-tubulin gene cause macrothrombocytopenia in mice and humans. Defects in α4A-tubulin lead to changes in tubulin tyrosination status of the platelet tubulin pool. Ultrastructural defects include reduced numbers and misarranged MT coils in the platelet marginal band. We further observed defects in megakaryocyte maturation and proplatelet formation in -mutant mice. We have, thus, discovered an α-tubulin isotype with specific and essential roles in platelet biogenesis.

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Tiziana Giordano, Sudarshan Gadadhar, Satish Bodakuntla, Jonas Straub, Sophie Leboucher, Guillaume Martinez, Walid Chemlali, Christophe Bosc, Annie Andrieux, Ivan Bieche, Christophe Arnoult, Stefan Geimer, Carsten Janke (2019 Feb 7)

Loss of the deglutamylase CCP5 perturbs multiple steps of spermatogenesis and leads to male infertility.

Journal of cell science : DOI : jcs226951 Learn more
Summary

Sperm cells are highly specialized mammalian cells, and their biogenesis requires unique intracellular structures. Perturbation of spermatogenesis often leads to male infertility. Here, we assess the role of a post-translational modification of tubulin, glutamylation, in spermatogenesis. We show that mice lacking the tubulin deglutamylase CCP5 (also known as AGBL5) do not form functional sperm. In these mice, spermatids accumulate polyglutamylated tubulin, accompanied by the occurrence of disorganized microtubule arrays, in particular in the sperm manchette. Spermatids further fail to re-arrange their intracellular space and accumulate organelles and cytosol, while nuclei condense normally. Strikingly, spermatids lacking CCP5 show supernumerary centrioles, suggesting that glutamylation could control centriole duplication. We show that most of these observed defects are also present in mice in which CCP5 is deleted only in the male germ line, strongly suggesting that they are germ-cell autonomous. Our findings reveal that polyglutamylation is, beyond its known importance for sperm flagella, an essential regulator of several microtubule-based functions during spermatogenesis. This makes enzymes involved in glutamylation prime candidates for being genes involved in male sterility.

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Pedro Guedes-Dias, Jeffrey J Nirschl, Nohely Abreu, Mariko K Tokito, Carsten Janke, Maria M Magiera, Erika L F Holzbaur (2019 Jan 21)

Kinesin-3 Responds to Local Microtubule Dynamics to Target Synaptic Cargo Delivery to the Presynapse.

Current biology : CB : 268-282.e8 : DOI : S0960-9822(18)31595-1 Learn more
Summary

Neurons in the CNS establish thousands of en passant synapses along their axons. Robust neurotransmission depends on the replenishment of synaptic components in a spatially precise manner. Using live-cell microscopy and single-molecule reconstitution assays, we find that the delivery of synaptic vesicle precursors (SVPs) to en passant synapses in hippocampal neurons is specified by an interplay between the kinesin-3 KIF1A motor and presynaptic microtubules. Presynaptic sites are hotspots of dynamic microtubules rich in GTP-tubulin. KIF1A binds more weakly to GTP-tubulin than GDP-tubulin and competes with end-binding (EB) proteins for binding to the microtubule plus end. A disease-causing mutation within KIF1A that reduces preferential binding to GDP- versus GTP-rich microtubules disrupts SVP delivery and reduces presynaptic release upon neuronal stimulation. Thus, the localized enrichment of dynamic microtubules along the axon specifies a localized unloading zone that ensures the accurate delivery of SVPs, controlling presynaptic strength in hippocampal neurons.

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Year of publication 2018

Athanasia Stoupa, Frédéric Adam, Dulanjalee Kariyawasam, Catherine Strassel, Sanjay Gawade, Gabor Szinnai, Alexandre Kauskot, Dominique Lasne, Carsten Janke, Kathiresan Natarajan, Alain Schmitt, Christine Bole-Feysot, Patrick Nitschke, Juliane Léger, Fabienne Jabot-Hanin, Frédéric Tores, Anita Michel, Arnold Munnich, Claude Besmond, Raphaël Scharfmann, François Lanza, Delphine Borgel, Michel Polak, Aurore Carré (2018 Nov 18)

TUBB1 mutations cause thyroid dysgenesis associated with abnormal platelet physiology.

EMBO molecular medicine : DOI : e9569 Learn more
Summary

The genetic causes of congenital hypothyroidism due to thyroid dysgenesis (TD) remain largely unknown. We identified three novel gene mutations that co-segregated with TD in three distinct families leading to 1.1% of mutations in TD study cohort. (Tubulin, Beta 1 Class VI) encodes for a member of the β-tubulin protein family. gene is expressed in the developing and adult thyroid in humans and mice. All three mutations lead to non-functional α/β-tubulin dimers that cannot be incorporated into microtubules. In mice, knock-out disrupted microtubule integrity by preventing β1-tubulin incorporation and impaired thyroid migration and thyroid hormone secretion. In addition, mutations caused the formation of macroplatelets and hyperaggregation of human platelets after stimulation by low doses of agonists. Our data highlight unexpected roles for β1-tubulin in thyroid development and in platelet physiology. Finally, these findings expand the spectrum of the rare paediatric diseases related to mutations in tubulin-coding genes and provide new insights into the genetic background and mechanisms involved in congenital hypothyroidism and thyroid dysgenesis.

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Maria M Magiera, Satish Bodakuntla, Jakub Žiak, Sabrina Lacomme, Patricia Marques Sousa, Sophie Leboucher, Torben J Hausrat, Christophe Bosc, Annie Andrieux, Matthias Kneussel, Marc Landry, André Calas, Martin Balastik, Carsten Janke (2018 Nov 12)

Excessive tubulin polyglutamylation causes neurodegeneration and perturbs neuronal transport.

The EMBO journal. : DOI : e100440 Learn more
Summary

Posttranslational modifications of tubulin are emerging regulators of microtubule functions. We have shown earlier that upregulated polyglutamylation is linked to rapid degeneration of Purkinje cells in mice with a mutation in the deglutamylating enzyme CCP1. How polyglutamylation leads to degeneration, whether it affects multiple neuron types, or which physiological processes it regulates in healthy neurons has remained unknown. Here, we demonstrate that excessive polyglutamylation induces neurodegeneration in a cell-autonomous manner and can occur in many parts of the central nervous system. Degeneration of selected neurons in CCP1-deficient mice can be fully rescued by simultaneous knockout of the counteracting polyglutamylase TTLL1. Excessive polyglutamylation reduces the efficiency of neuronal transport in cultured hippocampal neurons, suggesting that impaired cargo transport plays an important role in the observed degenerative phenotypes. We thus establish polyglutamylation as a cell-autonomous mechanism for neurodegeneration that might be therapeutically accessible through manipulation of the enzymes that control this posttranslational modification.

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Vandana Shashi, Maria M Magiera, Dennis Klein, Maha Zaki, Kelly Schoch, Sabine Rudnik-Schöneborn, Andrew Norman, Osorio Lopes Abath Neto, Marina Dusl, Xidi Yuan, Luca Bartesaghi, Patrizia De Marco, Ahmed A Alfares, Ronit Marom, Stefan T Arold, Francisco J Guzmán-Vega, Loren Dm Pena, Edward C Smith, Maja Steinlin, Mohamed Oe Babiker, Payam Mohassel, A Reghan Foley, Sandra Donkervoort, Rupleen Kaur, Partha S Ghosh, Valentina Stanley, Damir Musaev, Caroline Nava, Cyril Mignot, Boris Keren, Marcello Scala, Elisa Tassano, Paolo Picco, Paola Doneda, Chiara Fiorillo, Mahmoud Y Issa, Ali Alassiri, Ahmed Alahmad, Amanda Gerard, Pengfei Liu, Yaping Yang, Birgit Ertl-Wagner, Peter G Kranz, Ingrid M Wentzensen, Rolf Stucka, Nicholas Stong, Andrew S Allen, David B Goldstein, , Benedikt Schoser, Kai M Rösler, Majid Alfadhel, Valeria Capra, Roman Chrast, Tim M Strom, Erik-Jan Kamsteeg, Carsten G Bönnemann, Joseph G Gleeson, Rudolf Martini, Carsten Janke, Jan Senderek (2018 Nov 12)

Loss of tubulin deglutamylase CCP1 causes infantile-onset neurodegeneration.

The EMBO journal. : DOI : e100540 Learn more
Summary

A set of glutamylases and deglutamylases controls levels of tubulin polyglutamylation, a prominent post-translational modification of neuronal microtubules. Defective tubulin polyglutamylation was first linked to neurodegeneration in the () mouse, which lacks deglutamylase CCP1, displays massive cerebellar atrophy, and accumulates abnormally glutamylated tubulin in degenerating neurons. We found biallelic rare and damaging variants in the gene encoding CCP1 in 13 individuals with infantile-onset neurodegeneration and confirmed the absence of functional CCP1 along with dysregulated tubulin polyglutamylation. The human disease mainly affected the cerebellum, spinal motor neurons, and peripheral nerves. We also demonstrate previously unrecognized peripheral nerve and spinal motor neuron degeneration in mice, which thus recapitulated key features of the human disease. Our findings link human neurodegeneration to tubulin polyglutamylation, entailing this post-translational modification as a potential target for drug development for neurodegenerative disorders.

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Nirakar Basnet, Hana Nedozralova, Alvaro H Crevenna, Satish Bodakuntla, Thomas Schlichthaerle, Michael Taschner, Giovanni Cardone, Carsten Janke, Ralf Jungmann, Maria M Magiera, Christian Biertümpfel, Naoko Mizuno (2018 Oct 20)

Direct induction of microtubule branching by microtubule nucleation factor SSNA1.

Nature cell biology : 1172-1180 : DOI : 10.1038/s41556-018-0199-8 Learn more
Summary

Microtubules are central elements of the eukaryotic cytoskeleton that often function as part of branched networks. Current models for branching include nucleation of new microtubules from severed microtubule seeds or from γ-tubulin recruited to the side of a pre-existing microtubule. Here, we found that microtubules can be directly remodelled into branched structures by the microtubule-remodelling factor SSNA1 (also known as NA14 or DIP13). The branching activity of SSNA1 relies on its ability to self-assemble into fibrils in a head-to-tail fashion. SSNA1 fibrils guide protofilaments of a microtubule to split apart to form daughter microtubules. We further found that SSNA1 localizes at axon branching sites and has a key role in neuronal development. SSNA1 mutants that abolish microtubule branching in vitro also fail to promote axon development and branching when overexpressed in neurons. We have, therefore, discovered a mechanism for microtubule branching and implicated its role in neuronal development.

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Maria M Magiera, Puja Singh, Carsten Janke (2018 May 31)

SnapShot: Functions of Tubulin Posttranslational Modifications.

Cell : 1552-1552.e1 : DOI : 10.1016/j.cell.2018.05.032 Learn more
Summary

Post-translational modification of tubulin offers a mechanism for functional diversification of microtubules and regulation in a variety of physiological contexts. This SnapShot recaps the current state of understanding of tubulin posttranslational modifications and their functions in the regulation of biological processes. To view this SnapShot, open or download the PDF.

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Maria M Magiera, Puja Singh, Sudarshan Gadadhar, Carsten Janke (2018 May 31)

Tubulin Posttranslational Modifications and Emerging Links to Human Disease.

Cell : 1323-1327 : DOI : 10.1016/j.cell.2018.05.018 Learn more
Summary

Tubulin posttranslational modifications are currently emerging as important regulators of the microtubule cytoskeleton and thus have a strong potential to be implicated in a number of disorders. Here, we review the latest advances in understanding the physiological roles of tubulin modifications and their links to a variety of pathologies.

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Renaud Chabrier, Carsten Janke (2018 Mar 1)

The comeback of hand drawing in modern life sciences.

Nature reviews. Molecular cell biology : DOI : 10.1038/nrm.2017.126 Learn more
Summary

Scientific manuscripts are full of images. Since the birth of the life sciences, these images were in a form of hand drawings, with great examples from da Vinci, Hooke, van Leeuwenhoek, Remak, Buffon, Bovery, Darwin, Huxley, Haeckel and Gray’s Anatomy to name a few. However, in the course of the past century, photographs and simplified schematics have gradually taken over as a way of illustrating scientific data and concepts, assuming that these are ‘accurate’ representations of the truth. Here, we argue for the importance of reviving the art of scientific drawings as a way of effectively communicating complex scientific ideas to both specialists and the general public.

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Carla G Silva, Elise Peyre, Mohit H Adhikari, Sylvia Tielens, Sebastian Tanco, Petra Van Damme, Lorenza Magno, Nathalie Krusy, Gulistan Agirman, Maria M Magiera, Nicoletta Kessaris, Brigitte Malgrange, Annie Andrieux, Carsten Janke, Laurent Nguyen (2018 Feb 22)

Cell-Intrinsic Control of Interneuron Migration Drives Cortical Morphogenesis.

Cell : 1063-1078.e19 : DOI : 10.1016/j.cell.2018.01.031 Learn more
Summary

Interneurons navigate along multiple tangential paths to settle into appropriate cortical layers. They undergo a saltatory migration paced by intermittent nuclear jumps whose regulation relies on interplay between extracellular cues and genetic-encoded information. It remains unclear how cycles of pause and movement are coordinated at the molecular level. Post-translational modification of proteins contributes to cell migration regulation. The present study uncovers that carboxypeptidase 1, which promotes post-translational protein deglutamylation, controls the pausing of migrating cortical interneurons. Moreover, we demonstrate that pausing during migration attenuates movement simultaneity at the population level, thereby controlling the flow of interneurons invading the cortex. Interfering with the regulation of pausing not only affects the size of the cortical interneuron cohort but also impairs the generation of age-matched projection neurons of the upper layers.

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Carsten Janke (2018 Feb 19)

A unified reviewing format for grant applications and evaluations.

EMBO reports : 187-188 : DOI : 10.15252/embr.201745611 Learn more
Summary

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Rodrigo Muñoz-Castañeda, David Díaz, Leticia Peris, Annie Andrieux, Christophe Bosc, José M Muñoz-Castañeda, Carsten Janke, José R Alonso, Marie-Jo Moutin, Eduardo Weruaga (2018 Feb 15)

Cytoskeleton stability is essential for the integrity of the cerebellum and its motor- and affective-related behaviors.

Scientific reports : 3072 : DOI : 10.1038/s41598-018-21470-2 Learn more
Summary

The cerebellum plays a key role in motor tasks, but its involvement in cognition is still being considered. Although there is an association of different psychiatric and cognitive disorders with cerebellar impairments, the lack of time-course studies has hindered the understanding of the involvement of cerebellum in cognitive and non-motor functions. Such association was here studied using the Purkinje Cell Degeneration mutant mouse, a model of selective and progressive cerebellar degeneration that lacks the cytosolic carboxypeptidase 1 (CCP1). The effects of the absence of this enzyme on the cerebellum of mutant mice were analyzed both in vitro and in vivo. These analyses were carried out longitudinally (throughout both the pre-neurodegenerative and neurodegenerative stages) and different motor and non-motor tests were performed. We demonstrate that the lack of CCP1 affects microtubule dynamics and flexibility, defects that contribute to the morphological alterations of the Purkinje cells (PCs), and to progressive cerebellar breakdown. Moreover, this degeneration led not only to motor defects but also to gradual cognitive impairments, directly related to the progression of cellular damage. Our findings confirm the cerebellar implication in non-motor tasks, where the formation of the healthy, typical PCs structure is necessary for normal cognitive and affective behavior.

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Year of publication 2017

Carsten Janke, Guillaume Montagnac (2017 Dec 4)

Causes and Consequences of Microtubule Acetylation.

Current biology : CB : R1287-R1292 : DOI : S0960-9822(17)31381-7 Learn more
Summary

Among the different types of cytoskeletal components, microtubules arguably accumulate the greatest diversity of post-translational modifications (PTMs). Acetylation of lysine 40 (K40) of α-tubulin has received particular attention because it is the only tubulin PTM to be found in the lumen of microtubules: most other tubulin PTMs are found at the outer surface of the microtubule. As a consequence, the enzyme catalyzing K40 acetylation needs to penetrate the narrow microtubule lumen to find its substrate. Acetylated microtubules have been considered to be stable, long-lived microtubules; however, until recently, there was little information about whether the longevity of these microtubules is the cause or the consequence of acetylation. Current advances suggest that this PTM helps the microtubule lattice to cope with mechanical stress, thus facilitating microtubule self-repair. These observations now shed new light on the structural integrity of microtubules, as well as on the mechanisms and biological functions of tubulin acetylation. Here, we discuss recent insights into how acetylation is generated in the lumen of microtubules, and how this ‘hidden’ PTM can control the properties and functions of microtubules.

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