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The localization, mass, and dynamics of microtubules are important in many processes. Cells may actively monitor the state of their microtubules and respond to perturbation, but how this occurs outside mitosis is poorly understood. We used gene-expression analysis in quiescent cells to analyze responses to subtle and strong perturbation of microtubules. Genes encoding α-, β, and γ-tubulins (TUBAs, TUBBs, and TUBGs), but not δ- or ε-tubulins (TUBDs or TUBEs), exhibited the strongest differential expression response to microtubule-stabilizing versus destabilizing drugs. Quantitative PCR of exon versus intron sequences confirmed that these changes were caused by regulation of tubulin mRNA stability and not transcription. Using tubulin mRNA stability as a signature to query the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database, we find that tubulin genes respond to toxins known to damage microtubules. Importantly, we find many other experimental perturbations, including multiple signaling and metabolic inputs that trigger tubulin differential expression, suggesting their novel, to our knowledge, role in the regulation of the microtubule cytoskeleton. Mechanistic follow-up confirms that one important physiological signal, phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate 3-kinase (PI3K) activity, indeed regulates tubulin mRNA stability via changes in microtubule dynamics. We propose that that tubulin gene expression is regulated as part of many coordinated biological responses, with wide implications in physiology and toxicology. Furthermore, we present a new way to discover microtubule regulation using transcriptomics.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PLoS biology
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Agents that interact with TUBULIN to inhibit or promote polymerization of MICROTUBULES.
High molecular weight proteins found in the MICROTUBULES of the cytoskeletal system. Under certain conditions they are required for TUBULIN assembly into the microtubules and stabilize the assembled microtubules.
A microtubule subunit protein found in large quantities in mammalian brain. It has also been isolated from SPERM FLAGELLUM; CILIA; and other sources. Structurally, the protein is a dimer with a molecular weight of approximately 120,000 and a sedimentation coefficient of 5.8S. It binds to COLCHICINE; VINCRISTINE; and VINBLASTINE.
A heterogeneous-nuclear ribonucleoprotein that has specificity for AU-rich elements found in the 3'-region of mRNA and may play a role in RNA stability. Several isoforms of hnRNP D protein have been found to occur due to alternative mRNA splicing (RNA SPLICING).
Slender, cylindrical filaments found in the cytoskeleton of plant and animal cells. They are composed of the protein TUBULIN and are influenced by TUBULIN MODULATORS.
Bioinformatics is the application of computer software and hardware to the management of biological data to create useful information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and integrate biological and genetic information which can then be applied...
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) uses the ability of DNA polymerase (enzymes that create DNA molecules by assembling nucleotides, the building blocks of DNA. These enzymes are essential to DNA replication and usually work in pairs to create two ident...