Clathrin is involved in organization of mitotic spindle and phragmoplast as well as in endocytosis in tobacco cell cultures

Protoplasma. 2007;230(1-2):1-11. doi: 10.1007/s00709-006-0226-7. Epub 2007 Mar 13.


We previously identified a 175 kDa polypeptide in Lilium longiflorum germinating pollen using a monoclonal antibody raised against myosin II heavy chain from Physarum polycephalum. In the present study, the equivalent polypeptide was also found in cultured tobacco BY-2 cells. Analysis of the amino acid sequences revealed that the 175 kDa polypeptide is clathrin heavy chain and not myosin heavy chain. After staining of BY-2 cells, punctate clathrin signals were distributed throughout the cytoplasm at interphase. During mitosis and cytokinesis, clathrin began to accumulate in the spindle and the phragmoplast and then was intensely concentrated in the cell plate. Expression of the C-terminal region of clathrin heavy chain, in which light chain binding and trimerization domains reside, induced the suppression of endocytosis and the formation of an aberrant spindle, phragmoplast, and cell plate, the likely cause of the observed multinucleate cells. These data strongly suggest that clathrin is intimately involved in the formation of the spindle and phragmoplast, as well as in endocytosis.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Cell Line, Transformed
  • Cell Membrane / chemistry
  • Clathrin / analysis
  • Clathrin / metabolism
  • Clathrin / physiology*
  • Clathrin Heavy Chains / metabolism
  • Clathrin Heavy Chains / physiology
  • Cytokinesis / physiology*
  • Endocytosis / physiology*
  • Mitosis / physiology*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Spindle Apparatus / chemistry*
  • Tobacco / ultrastructure*


  • Clathrin
  • Clathrin Heavy Chains