In this paper we describe a new type of non-centrosomal microtubule-organising centre (MTOC), which is induced by cold treatment of certain cultured Drosophila cells and allows rapid reassembly of microtubule (MT) arrays. Prolonged cooling of two types of cultured Drosophila cells, muscle cells in primary culture and a wing imaginal disc cell line Cl.8+ results in disassembly of MT arrays and induces the formation of clusters of short MTs that have not been described before. Upon rewarming, the clusters are lost and the MT array is re-established within 1 h. In Cl.8+ cells, gamma-tubulin-containing centrosomes are detected, both in cell extensions and in the expected juxtanuclear position, and gamma-tubulin co-localises with the cold-induced MT clusters. The MT plus-end-binding protein, Drosophila EB1, decorates growing tips of MTs extending from clusters. We conclude that the cold-induced MT clusters represent acentrosomal MTOCs, allowing rapid reassembly of MT arrays following exposure to cold.
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