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Science 303 (5665): 1862-1866

Copyright © 2004 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Stathmin-Tubulin Interaction Gradients in Motile and Mitotic Cells

Philipp Niethammer, Philippe Bastiaens,* Eric Karsenti*

Abstract: The spatial organization of the microtubule cytoskeleton is thought to be directed by steady-state activity gradients of diffusible regulatory molecules. We visualized such intracellular gradients by monitoring the interaction between tubulin and a regulator of microtubule dynamics, stathmin, using a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensor. These gradients were observed both during interphase in motile membrane protrusions and during mitosis around chromosomes, which suggests that a similar mechanism may contribute to the creation of polarized microtubule structures. These interaction patterns are likely to reflect phosphorylation of stathmin in these areas.

European Molecular Biology Laboratory, EMBL, Meyerhofstrasse 1, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: karsenti{at} and bastiaen{at}

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