A Saccharomyces cerevisiae gamma-tubulin-related gene, TUB4, has been characterized. The predicted amino acid sequence of the Tub4 protein (Tub4p) is 29-38% identical to members of the gamma-tubulin family. Indirect immunofluorescence experiments using a strain containing an epitope-tagged Tub4p indicate that Tub4p resides at the spindle pole body throughout the yeast cell cycle. Deletion of the TUB4 gene indicates that Tub4p is essential for yeast cell growth. Tub4p-depleted cells arrest during nuclear division; most arrested cells contain a large bud, replicated DNA, and a single nucleus. Immunofluorescence and nuclear staining experiments indicate that cells depleted of Tub4p contain defects in the organization of both cytoplasmic and nuclear microtubule arrays; such cells exhibit nuclear migration failure, defects in spindle formation, and/or aberrantly long cytoplasmic microtubule arrays. These data indicate that the S. cerevisiae gamma-tubulin protein is an important SPB component that organizes both cytoplasmic and nuclear microtubule arrays.

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