A Turning Point for Macrophages

submitted by: JCB
Drosophila macrophages disperse themselves around the body during embryogenesis, ready to mount an immune response at the site of a wound. Stramer et al. image the cells in vivo, revealing that they form microtubule "arms" to point them in the right direction and push themselves away from their fellow leukocytes. This biosights episode presents the paper by Stramer et al. from the May 17th, 2010 issue of The Journal of Cell Biology, and includes an interview with lead author Brian Stramer....

Motor-dependent microtubule disassembly driven by tubulin tyrosination

submitted by: JCB
In cells, stable microtubules (MTs) are covalently modified by a carboxypeptidase, which removes the C-terminal Tyr residue of alpha-tubulin. The significance of this selective detyrosination of MTs is not understood. In this study, we report that tubulin detyrosination in fibroblasts inhibits MT disassembly. This inhibition is relieved by overexpression of the depolymerizing motor mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK). Conversely, suppression of MCAK expression prevents disassembly...
Authors: Leticia Peris