The role of gamma-tubulin in microtubule nucleation is well established, however, its function in other aspects of microtubule organization is unknown. The carboxy termini of alpha/beta-tubulins influence the assembly and stability of microtubules. We investigated the role of the carboxy terminus of yeast gamma-tubulin (Tub4p) in microtubule organization. This region consists of a conserved domain (DSYLD), and acidic tail. Cells expressing truncations lacking the DSYLD domain, tail or both regions are temperature sensitive for growth. Growth defects of tub4 mutants lacking either or both carboxy-terminal domains are suppressed by the microtubule destabilizing drug benomyl. tub4 carboxy-terminal mutants arrest as large budded cells with short bipolar spindles positioned at the bud neck. Electron microscopic analysis of wild-type and CTR mutant cells reveals that SPBs are tightly associated with the bud neck/cortex by cytoplasmic microtubules in mutants lacking the tail region (tub4-delta 444, tub4-delta 448). Mutants lacking the DSYLD residues (tub4-delta 444, tub4-delta DSYLD) form many cytoplasmic microtubules. We propose that the carboxy terminus of Tub4p is required for re-organization of the microtubules upon completion of nuclear migration, and facilitates spindle elongation into the bud.
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