Microtubule-binding proteins CLASP1 and CLASP2 interact with actin filaments

Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 2007 Jul;64(7):519-30. doi: 10.1002/cm.20201.


Cell morphogenesis requires dynamic communication between actin filaments and microtubules which is mediated, at least in part, by direct structural links between the two cytoskeletal systems. Here, we examined interaction between the CLIP-associated proteins (CLASP) CLASP1 and CLASP2, and actin filaments. We demonstrate that, in addition to a well-established association with the distal ends of microtubules, CLASP2alpha co-localizes with stress fibers, and that both CLASP1alpha and CLASP2alpha co-immunoprecipitate with actin. GFP-CLASP2alpha exhibits retrograde flow in the lamellipodia of Xenopus primary fibroblasts and in the filopodia of Xenopus spinal cord neurons. A deletion mapping analysis reveals that both the microtubule-binding domain of CLASP2 (which is homologous between all CLASPs) and the N-terminal dis1/TOG domain of CLASP2alpha (which is homologous between alpha isoforms) possess actin-binding activity. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments demonstrate significant energy transfer between YFP-CLASP2alpha and CFP-actin. Our results indicate that CLASPs function as actin/microtubule crosslinkers in interphase cells. We propose that CLASPs facilitate recognition of actin filaments by the plus ends of growing microtubules at the initial stages of actin-microtubule interaction. Cell Motil.

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / genetics
  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Animals
  • Binding Sites
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / cytology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Pseudopodia / metabolism
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Transfection
  • Xenopus
  • Xenopus Proteins / genetics
  • Xenopus Proteins / metabolism*


  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Xenopus Proteins
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins