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NDP52 tunes cortical actin interaction with astral microtubules for accurate spindle orientation


Oriented cell divisions are controlled by a conserved molecular cascade involving Gαi, LGN, and NuMA. Here, we show that NDP52 regulates spindle orientation via remodeling the polar cortical actin cytoskeleton. siRNA-mediated NDP52 suppression surprisingly revealed a ring-like compact subcortical F-actin architecture surrounding the spindle in prophase/prometaphase cells, which resulted in severe defects of astral microtubule growth and an aberrant spindle orientation. Remarkably, NDP52 recruited the actin assembly factor N-WASP and regulated the dynamics of the subcortical F-actin ring in mitotic cells. Mechanistically, NDP52 was found to bind to phosphatidic acid-containing vesicles, which absorbed cytoplasmic N-WASP to regulate local filamentous actin growth at the polar cortex. Our TIRFM analyses revealed that NDP52-containing vesicles anchored N-WASP and shortened the length of actin filaments in vitro. Based on these results we propose that NDP52-containing vesicles regulate cortical actin dynamics through N-WASP to accomplish a spatiotemporal regulation between astral microtubules and the actin network for proper spindle orientation and precise chromosome segregation. In this way, intracellular vesicles cooperate with microtubules and actin filaments to regulate proper mitotic progression. Since NDP52 is absent from yeast, we reason that metazoans have evolved an elaborate spindle positioning machinery to ensure accurate chromosome segregation in mitosis.

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We are grateful to Drs. Xiaoming Tu, Ge Shan and Kai Jiang for reagents. This work was supported in part by National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFA0503600, 2016YFA0100500, 2014CB964803, 2002CB713703), National Natural Science Foundation of China (31621002, 31320103904, 31430054, 91854203, 91313303, 31501093, 31500601, 91753000, 91853115, 31671405, 31671407, 31871359, 31601097, 31601098), ‘Strategic Priority Research Program’ of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB19000000), MOE Innovative team (IRT_17R102), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (KB2070000023) and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation Grant 2015M580547.

Author information

X.Y. and H.Y. conceived the project. H.Y. performed most cell biology experiments, in vitro reconstitution experiments and data analyses. F.Y. optimized siRNA treatments and performed correlated real-time imaging and Western blotting analyses. P.D., Z.L., W.L., J.Z., X.L. and J.L-S. contributed reagents. All authors contributed to the writing or editing of the manuscript.

Correspondence to Xuebiao Yao.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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