Augmin is a Ran-regulated spindle assembly factor

Jodi Kraus, Sophie M. Travis, Matthew R. King, Sabine Petry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Mitotic spindles are composed of microtubules (MTs) that must nucleate at the right place and time. Ran regulates this process by directly controlling the release of spindle assembly factors (SAFs) from nucleocytoplasmic shuttle proteins importin-αβ and subsequently forms a biochemical gradient of SAFs localized around chromosomes. The majority of spindle MTs are generated by branching MT nucleation, which has been shown to require an eight-subunit protein complex known as augmin. In Xenopus laevis, Ran can control branching through a canonical SAF, TPX2, which is nonessential in Drosophila melanogaster embryos and HeLa cells. Thus, how Ran regulates branching MT nucleation when TPX2 is not required remains unknown. Here, we use in vitro pulldowns and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to show that augmin is a Ran-regulated SAF. We demonstrate that augmin directly interacts with both importin-α and importin-β through two nuclear localization sequences on the Haus8 subunit, which overlap with the MT-binding site. Moreover, we show that Ran controls localization of augmin to MTs in both Xenopus egg extract and in vitro. Our results demonstrate that RanGTP directly regulates augmin, which establishes a new way by which Ran controls branching MT nucleation and spindle assembly both in the absence and presence of TPX2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104736
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


  • Ran pathway
  • TPX2
  • augmin
  • branching microtubule nucleation
  • importins
  • spindle assembly factor


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