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Cell Biochem Funct. 1995 Dec;13(4):239-50.

Subpopulations of tau interact with microtubules and actin filaments in various cell types.

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Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Biology, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Universidad de Chile & International Center for Cancer and Developmental Biology, ICC, Casilla 653, Santiago, Chile.


It has been demonstrated that microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) interact with tubulin in vitro and in vivo. However, there is no clear evidence on the possible roles of the interactions of MAPs in vivo with other cytoskeletal components in maintaining the integrity of the cell architecture. To address this question we extracted the neuronal cytoskeleton from brain cells and studied the selective dissociation of specific molecular isospecies of tau protein under various experimental conditions. Tau, and in some cases MPA-2, were analysed by the use of anti-idiotypic antibodies that recognize epitopes on their tubulin binding sites. Fractions of microtubule-bound tau isoforms were extracted with 0.35 M NaCl or after the addition of nocodazole to allow microtubule depolymerization. Protein eluted with this inhibitor contained most of the assembled tubulin dimer pool and part of the remaining tau and MAP-2. When the remaining cytoskeletal pellet was treated with cytochalasin D to allow depolymerization of actin filaments, only tau isoforms were extracted. Immunoprecipitation studies along with immunolocalization experiments in cell lines containing tau-like components supported the findings on the roles of tau isospecies as linkers between tubulin in the microtubular structure with actin filaments. Interestingly, in certain types of cells, antibody-reactive tau isospecies were detected by immunofluorescence with a discrete distribution pattern along actin filaments, which was affected by cytochalasin disruption of the actin filament network. These results suggest the possible in vivo roles of subsets of tau protein in modulating the interactions between microtubules and actin filaments.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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