In Vitro polymerization of flagellar and ciliary outer fiber tubulin into microtubules

Ryoko Kuriyama

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About 10-20% of the total protein in the outer fiber fraction was solubilized by sonication in a solution containing 5 mM MES, 0.5 mM MgSO4, 1.0 mM EGTA, 1.0 mM GTP, and 0 or 50 mM KCl at pH 6.7. The sonicated extract was shown by analytical centrifugation to consist largely of a 6 S component (tubulin dimer), having a molecular weight of 103,000, as determined by gel filtration, and possessing a colchicine-binding activity of 0.8 mole per tubulin dimer.The tubulin fraction failed to polymerize into microtubules by itself. Addition of a small amount of the ciliary outer fiber fragments or reconstituted short brain microtubules, however, induced polymerization, as demonstrated by viscosity of flow birefringence changes as well as light or electron microscopic observations. The growth of heterogeneous microtubules upon mixing outer fiber tubulin with DEAE-dextran-decorated brain microtubules was observed by electron microscopy.Microtubules were reconstituted from outer fiber tubulin without addition of any nuclei fraction when a concentrated tubulin fraction was warmed at 35°. A few doublet-like microtubules or pairs of parallel singlet microtubules that were closely aligned longitudinally could be observed among many singlet microtubules.Unlike outer fiber microtubules, the reconstituted polymers were depolymerized by exposure to Ca2+ ions, high or low ionic strength, colchicine, low temperature or SH reagents. No microtubules were assembled under these conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-165
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biochemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1976

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