Journal of Cell Science
Proper regulation of microtubule (MT) stability and dynamics is vital for essential cellular processes, including axonal transportation and synaptic growth and remodeling in neurons. In the present study, we demonstrate that the Drosophila ankyrin repeat and KH domain-containing protein Mask negatively affects MT stability in both larval muscles and motor neurons. In larval muscles, loss-of-function of mask increases MT polymer length, and in motor neurons, loss of mask function results in overexpansion of the presynaptic terminal at the larval neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). mask genetically interacts with stathmin (stai), a neuronal modulator of MT stability, in the regulation of axon transportation and synaptic terminal stability. Our structure–function analysis of Mask revealed that its ankyrin repeats domain-containing N-terminal portion is sufficient to mediate Mask’s impact on MT stability. Furthermore, we discovered that Mask negatively regulates the abundance of the MT-associated protein Jupiter in motor neuron axons, and that neuronal knocking down of Jupiter partially suppresses mask loss-of-function phenotypes at the larval NMJs. Taken together, our studies demonstrate that Mask is a novel regulator for MT stability, and such a role of Mask requires normal function of Jupiter.
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Martinez, Daniel; Zhu, Mingwei; Guidry, Jessie J.; Majeste, Niles; Mao, Hui; Yanofsky, Sarah T.; Tian, Xiaolin; and Wu, Chunlai, "Mask, the Drosophila Ankyrin Repeat and KH Domain-Containing Protein, Affects Microtubule Stability" (2021). School of Medicine Faculty Publications. 23.