A temperature-sensitive mutation in the nudC gene (nudC3) of Aspergillus nidulans specifically prevents the microtubule-based movement of nuclei in this organism at the restrictive temperature. The mutation does not affect short term growth, nuclear division, or the movement of other subcellular organelles. Immunofluorescence analysis of cells blocked at the restrictive temperature, using antitubulin antibodies, shows that the inability of nuclei to move under these conditions is not related to an inability of a particular class of microtubule to form. The inability to move nuclei in this mutant is also shown to be independent of both mitosis and the number of nuclei in the cell as a double mutant carrying both nudC3 and a cell cycle-specific mutation blocks with a single immotile nucleus at the restrictive temperature. The molecular cloning of the nudC gene and sequence analysis reveal that it encodes a previously unidentified protein of 22 kd. Affinity-purified antisera reactive to the nudC protein cross reacts to a single protein of 22 kD in Aspergillus protein extracts. This purified sera failed to reveal a subcellular location for the nudC protein at the level of indirect immunofluorescence. The data presented suggest that the 22-kD nudC gene product functions by interacting between microtubules and nuclei and/or is involved in the generation of force used to move nuclei during interphase.

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