We used the inhibitor nocodazole in conjunction with immunofluorescence and electron microscopy to investigate microtubule function in the yeast cell cycle. Under appropriate conditions, this drug produced a rapid and essentially complete disassembly of cytoplasmic and intranuclear microtubules, accompanied by a rapid and essentially complete block of cellular and nuclear division. These effects were similar to, but more profound than, the effects of the related drug methyl benzimidazole carbamate (MBC). In the nocodazole-treated cells, the selection of nonrandom budding sites, the formation of chitin rings and rings of 10-nm filaments at those sites, bud emergence, differential bud enlargement, and apical bud growth appeared to proceed normally, and the intracellular distribution of actin was not detectably perturbed. Thus, the cytoplasmic microtubules are apparently not essential for the establishment of cell polarity and the localization of cell-surface growth. In contrast, nocodazole profoundly affected the behavior of the nucleus. Although spindle-pole bodies (SPBs) could duplicate in the absence of microtubules, SPB separation was blocked. Moreover, complete spindles present at the beginning of drug treatment appeared to collapse, drawing the opposed SPBs and associated nuclear envelope close together. Nuclei did not migrate to the mother-bud necks in nocodazole-treated cells, although nuclei that had reached the necks before drug treatment remained there. Moreover, the double SPBs in arrested cells were often not oriented toward the budding sites, in contrast to the situation in normal cells. Thus, microtubules (cytoplasmic, intranuclear, or both) appear to be necessary for the migration and proper orientation of the nucleus, as well as for SPB separation, spindle function, and nuclear division.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology