A cDNA encoding a 224-kDa Dictyostelium discoideum centrosomal protein (DdCP224) was isolated by immunoscreening. DdCP224 was detected at the centrosome and, more weakly, along microtubules throughout the entire cell cycle. Centrosomal localization does not require microtubules, suggesting that DdCP224 is a genuine centrosomal component. DdCP224 exhibits sequence identity to a weakly conserved class of microtubule-associated proteins including human TOGp and yeast Stu2p. Stu2p has a size of only approximately 100 kDa and corresponds to the N-terminal half of DdCP224. The functions of the N- and C-terminal halves of DdCP224 were investigated in the corresponding GFP-fusion mutants. Surprisingly, the N-terminal construct showed only cytosolic localization, whereas the C-terminal construct localized exclusively to the centrosome. This is unexpected because Stu2p is localized at the spindle pole body. Full-length DdCP224-GFP was present both at centrosomes and along microtubules. Furthermore, it bound to microtubules in vitro, unlike the two truncated mutants. Thus centrosome binding is determined by the C-terminal half and microtubule binding may require the interaction of the N- and C-terminal halves. Interestingly, cells expressing full-length DdCP224-GFP exhibit supernumerary centrosomes and show a cytokinesis defect, suggesting that DdCP224 plays an important role in centrosome duplication. These features are unique among the known centrosomal proteins.

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