The Dumont Lab recently published an article in Current Biology:
Cytoplasmic linker-associated proteins (CLASPs) form a conserved family of microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) that maintain microtubules in a growing state by promoting rescue while suppressing catastrophe.1 CLASP function involves an ordered array of tumor overexpressed gene (TOG) domains and binding to multiple protein partners via a conserved C-terminal domain (CTD).2,3 In migrating cells, CLASPs concentrate at the cortex near focal adhesions as part of cortical microtubule stabilization complexes (CMSCs), via binding of their CTD to the focal adhesion protein PHLDB2/LL5β.4,5 Cortical CLASPs also stabilize a subset of microtubules, which stimulate focal adhesion turnover and generate a polarized microtubule network toward the leading edge of migrating cells. CLASPs are also recruited to the trans-Golgi network (TGN) via an interaction between their CTD and the Golgin protein GCC185.6 This allows microtubule growth toward the leading edge of migrating cells, which is required for Golgi organization, polarized intracellular transport, and cell motility.7 In dividing cells, CLASPs are essential at kinetochores for efficient chromosome segregation and anaphase spindle integrity.8,9 Both CENP-E and ASTRIN bind and target CLASPs to kinetochores,10,11 although the CLASP domain required for this interaction is not known. Despite its high evolutionary conservation, the CTD remains structurally uncharacterized. Here, we find that the CTD can be structurally modeled as a TOG domain. We identify a surface-exposed and conserved arginine residue essential for CLASP CTD interaction with partner proteins. Together, our results provide a structural mechanism by which the CLASP CTD directs diverse sub-cellular localizations throughout the cell cycle.