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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 2000 Nov;47(3):219-35.

Distribution of polyglutamylated tubulin in the flagellar apparatus of green flagellates.

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Institut Curie, UMR 144 du CNRS, Paris, France.


Polyglutamylation is a widely distributed posttranslational modification of tubulin that can be demonstrated either by biochemical analysis or by the use of specific antibodies like GT335. Western blotting using GT335 demonstrated that polyglutamylated tubulin is enriched in isolated basal apparatus of Spermatozopsis similis. Single- and double-labeling experiments, using indirect immunofluorescence and immunogold electron microscopy of isolated cytoskeletons of S. similis and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, revealed that polyglutamylated tubulin was predominately present in the basal bodies and the proximal part of the axonemes. Using immunogold labeling of whole mounts of Spermatozopsis cytoskeletons, we obtained evidence for a predominant occurrence of polyglutamylated tubulin in the B-tubule of the axonemal doublets. Polyglutamylation occurs early during premitotic basal body assembly in S. similis, whereas the probasal bodies of Chlamydomonas, which are present through interphase, showed a reduced staining with GT335 indicating that polyglutamylation is involved in basal body maturation. During flagella regeneration of C. reinhardtii, polyglutamylation preceded detyrosination and became visible shortly after the onset of flagellar regeneration. In C. reinhardtii and S. similis polyglutamylated tubulin was absent or highly reduced in the flagellar transition region, a specialized part of the flagellum linking the basal body to the axoneme. Furthermore, the transition region and the neighboring part of the axoneme showed reduced staining with L3, an antibody directed against detyrosinated tubulin. The results indicate that differences in the modification pattern can occur in a confined area of individual microtubules. The deficiency of polyglutamylated and detyrosinated tubulin in the transition region could have functional implications for flagellar turnover or excision.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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