We are using a biochemical approach, with Arabidopsis EB1 proteins as bait, to identify new components of the protein assembly at microtubule plus-ends.
The plus-ends of microtubules are highly dynamic and are key sites for regulating polymer assembly and interactions between microtubule tips and other cellular components (including other microtubules!). A specialized class of proteins, called plus-end tracking proteins, specifically bind to growing microtubule plus-ends and regulate their function. We have previously shown that the Arabidopsis EB1a and 1b proteins show robust plus-end tracking activity when expressed at native levels in transgenic plants. EB1 is thought to be the core component of a network of proteins involved in regulating microtubule plus-end function. In order to identify new components of the plant microtubule plus-end protein complex, we are using GST-tagged full-length and truncated Arabidopsis EB1 proteins to search for binding partners.