A role for endoplasmic reticulum dynamics in the cellular distribution of microtubules
Tikhomirova MS., Kadosh A., Saukko-Paavola AJ., Shemesh T., Klemm RW.
Significance The endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the microtubule (MT) cytoskeleton form a coextensive, dynamic system that pervades eukaryotic cells. The shape of the ER is generated by a set of evolutionarily conserved membrane proteins that are able to control ER morphology and dynamics independently of MTs. Here we uncover that the molecular machinery that determines ER network dynamics can influence the subcellular distribution of MTs. We show that active control of local ER tubule junction density by ER tethering and fusion is important for the spatial organization of the combined ER–MT system. Our work suggests that cells might alter ER junction dynamics to drive formation of MT bundles, which are important structures, e.g., in migrating cells or in neuronal axons.