MAPping the eukaryotic tree of life: structure, function, and evolution of the MAP215/Dis1 family of microtubule-associated proteins

Int Rev Cytol. 2004;239:179-272. doi: 10.1016/S0074-7696(04)39004-2.


The MAP215/Dis1 family of proteins is an evolutionarily ancient family of microtubule-associated proteins, with characterized members in all major kingdoms of eukaryotes, including fungi (Stu2 in S. cerevisiae, Dis1 and Alp14 in S. pombe), Dictyostelium (DdCP224), plants (Mor1 in A. thaliana and TMBP200 in N. tabaccum), and animals (Zyg9 in C. elegans, Msps in Drosophila, XMAP215 in Xenopus, and ch-TOG in humans). All MAP215/Dis1 proteins (with the exception of those in plants) localize to microtubule-organizing centers (MTOCs), including spindle pole bodies in yeast and centrosomes in animals, and all bind to microtubules in vitro and?or in vivo. Diverse roles in regulating microtubule assembly and organization have been proposed for individual family members, and a substantial body of evidence suggests that MAP215/Dis1-related proteins play critical roles in the assembly and function of the meiotic/mitotic spindles and/or cell division. An extensive search of public databases (including both EST and genome databases) identified partial sequences predicted to encode more than three dozen new members of the MAP215/Dis1 family, including putative MAP215/Dis1-related proteins in Giardia lamblia and four other protists, sixteen additional species of fungi, six plants, and twelve animals. The structure and function of MAP215/Dis1 proteins are discussed in relation to the evolution of this ancient family of microtubule-associated proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cell Division / genetics
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Centrosome / metabolism*
  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Humans
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / chemistry
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / chemistry
  • Microtubules / genetics
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Plants
  • Protein Isoforms / chemistry
  • Protein Isoforms / genetics
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / genetics
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / physiology
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Structural Homology, Protein
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Yeasts


  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms