The centrosomal protein CP190 regulates myosin function during early Drosophila development.
Chodagam S., Royou A., Whitfield W., Karess R., Raff JW.
Centrosomes are the main microtubule (MT)-organizing centers in animal cells, but they also influence the actin/myosin cytoskeleton. The Drosophila CP190 protein is nuclear in interphase, interacts with centrosomes during mitosis, and binds to MTs directly in vitro. CP190 has an essential function in the nucleus as a chromatin insulator, but centrosomes and MTs appear unperturbed in Cp190 mutants. Thus, the centrosomal function of CP190, if any, is unclear. Here, we examine the function of CP190 in Cp190 mutant germline clone embryos. Mitosis is not perturbed in these embryos, but they fail in axial expansion, an actin/myosin-dependent process that distributes the nuclei along the anterior-to-posterior axis of the embryo. Myosin organization is disrupted in these embryos, but actin appears unaffected. Moreover, a constitutively activated form of the myosin regulatory light chain can rescue the axial expansion defect in mutant embryos, suggesting that CP190 acts upstream of myosin activation. A CP190 mutant that cannot bind to MTs or centrosomes can rescue the lethality associated with Cp190 mutations, presumably because it retains its nuclear functions, but it cannot rescue the defects in myosin organization in embryos. Thus, CP190 has distinct nuclear and centrosomal functions, and it provides a crucial link between the centrosome/MT and actin/myosin cytoskeletal systems in early embryos.