Evidence for dynein and astral microtubule-mediated cortical release and transport of Gαi/LGN/NuMA complex in mitotic cells

Zhen Zheng, Qingwen Wan, Jing Liu, Huabin Zhu, Xiaogang Chu, Quansheng Du

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Spindle positioning is believed to be governed by the interaction between astral microtubules and the cell cortex and involve cortically anchored motor protein dynein. How dynein is recruited to and regulated at the cell cortex to generate forces on astral microtubules is not clear. Here we show that mammalian homologue of Drosophila Pins (Partner of Inscuteable) (LGN), a Gαi-binding protein that is critical for spindle positioning in different systems, associates with cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain (DYNC1H1) in a Gαi-regulated manner. LGN is required for the mitotic cortical localization of DYNC1H1, which, in turn, also modulates the cortical accumulation of LGN. Using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching analysis, we show that cortical LGN is dynamic and the turnover of LGN relies, at least partially, on astral microtubules and DYNC1H1. We provide evidence for dynein- and astral microtubule-mediated transport of Gαi/LGN/nuclear mitotic apparatus (NuMA) complex from cell cortex to spindle poles and show that actin filaments counteract such transport by maintaining Gαi/ LGN/NuMA and dynein at the cell cortex. Our results indicate that astral microtubules are required for establishing bipolar, symmetrical cortical LGN distribution during metaphase. We propose that regulated cortical release and transport of LGN complex along astral microtubules may contribute to spindle positioning in mammalian cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)901-913
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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