The Drosophila centrosome-associated protein CP190 is essential for viability but not for cell division.
Butcher RD., Chodagam S., Basto R., Wakefield JG., Henderson DS., Raff JW., Whitfield WG.
The Drosophila CP190 and CP60 proteins interact with each other and shuttle between the nucleus in interphase and the centrosome in mitosis. Both proteins can bind directly to microtubules in vitro, and have been shown to associate with a specific pattern of loci on salivary gland polytene chromosomes, but their functions are unknown. Here we show that reducing the level of CP190 or CP60 by >90% in tissue culture cells does not significantly interfere with centrosome or microtubule organisation, with cell division, or with cell viability. However, CP190 is an essential protein, as flies homozygous for mutations in the Cp190 gene die at late pupal stages of development. In larval brains of Cp190 mutants, mitosis is not radically perturbed, and a mutated form of CP190 (CP190DeltaM), that cannot bind to microtubules or associate with centrosomes, can rescue the lethality associated with mutations in the Cp190 gene. Thus, CP190 plays an essential role in flies that is independent of its association with centrosomes or microtubules.