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Mol Cell Biol. Oct 1990; 10(10): 5295–5304.
PMCID: PMC361218

Phenotypic consequences of tubulin overproduction in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: differences between alpha-tubulin and beta-tubulin.

Abstract

Overexpression of alpha- and beta-tubulin genes in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, separately or together, leads to accumulation of large excesses of each of the polypeptides and arrest of cell division. However, other consequences of overexpression of these genes differ in several ways. As shown previously (D. Burke, P. Gasdaska, and L. Hartwell, Mol. Cell. Biol. 9:1049-1059, 1989), overexpression of beta-tubulin leads, at early times, to loss of microtubule structures and loss of viability. Eventually, the excess beta-tubulin forms abnormal structures. We show here that, in contrast, overexpression of alpha-tubulin led to none of these phenotypes and in fact could suppress each of the phenotypes associated with beta-tubulin accumulation. Truncated forms of beta-tubulin that were not competent to carry out microtubule functions also failed to elicit the beta-tubulin-specific phenotypes when overexpressed. The data support the hypothesis that beta-tubulin in excess over alpha-tubulin is uniquely toxic, perhaps because it interferes with normal microtubule assembly.

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Selected References

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