Microtubules are part of cell structures that play a role in regulating the migration of cancer cells. The cellular apoptosis susceptibility (CSE1L/CAS) protein is a microtubule-associated protein that is highly expressed in cancer. We report here that CSE1L regulates the association of α-tubulin with β-tubulin and promotes the migration of MCF-7 breast cancer cells. CSE1L was associated with α-tubulin and β-tubulin in GST (glutathione S-transferase) pull-down and immunoprecipitation assays. CSE1L-GFP (green fluorescence protein) fusion protein experiments showed that the N-terminal of CSE1L interacted with microtubules. Increased CSE1L expression resulted in decreased tyrosine phosphorylation of α-tubulin and β-tubulin, increased α-tubulin and β-tubulin association, and enhanced assembly of microtubules. Cell protrusions or pseudopodia are temporary extensions of the plasma membrane and are implicated in cancer cell migration and invasion. Increased CSE1L expression increased the extension of MCF-7 cell protrusions. In vitro migration assay showed that enhanced CSE1L expression increased the migration of MCF-7 cells. Our results indicate that CSE1L plays a role in regulating the extension of cell protrusions and promotes the migration of cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2969-2981
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2010


  • Cancer
  • Microtubules
  • Migration
  • Protrusion
  • Tubulin
  • Tyrosine phosphorylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Medicine(all)


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