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Cell Motil. 1985;5(3):239-49.

Proteins closely similar to flagellar tektins are detected in cilia but not in cytoplasmic microtubules.


Affinity-purified antibodies against Strongylocentrotus purpuratus sperm flagellar tektin polypeptides have been tested for cross-reactivity with microtubules isolated from various sources, using indirect immunofluorescent staining and antibody binding to nitrocellulose replicas of SDS polyacrylamide gels. The antitektins reacted with sperm tail axonemes from four genera of sea urchins and with cilia from sea urchin embryos. Antibody binding was observed only if the specimens were prefixed by methods that would not preserve them well at an ultrastructural level. However, even after such fixation regimes, no antibody binding was detected to cytoplasmic microtubule arrays in the same embryos, to mitotic spindles isolated from sea urchin eggs or to gill cilia from a mollusc. We conclude that, if tektins are present in sea urchin egg cytoplasmic microtubules, they are sufficiently different from the sperm tektins to have no common strongly antigenic determinants.

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