APC is a component of an organizing template for cortical microtubule networks

Nat Cell Biol. 2005 May;7(5):463-73. doi: 10.1038/ncb1248.


A microtubule network on the basal cortex of polarized epithelial cells consists of non-centrosomal microtubules of mixed polarity. Here, we investigate the proteins that are involved in organizing this network, and we show that end-binding protein 1 (EB1), adenomatous polyposis coli protein (APC) and p150Glued - although considered to be microtubule plus-end-binding proteins - are localized along the entire length of microtubules within the network, and at T-junctions between microtubules. The network shows microtubule behaviours that arise from physical interactions between microtubules, including microtubule plus-end stabilization on the sides of other microtubules, and sliding of microtubule ends along other microtubules. APC also localizes to the basal cortex. Microtubules grew over and paused at APC puncta; an in vitro reconstituted microtubule network overlaid APC puncta; and microtubule network reconstitution was inhibited by function-blocking APC antibodies. Thus, APC is a component of a cortical template that guides microtubule network formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Polarity / physiology
  • Dogs
  • Dynactin Complex
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure
  • Protein Binding
  • Tubulin / metabolism


  • Adenomatous Polyposis Coli Protein
  • Dynactin Complex
  • EB1 microtubule binding proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Tubulin