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Cell Tissue Res. 2002 Aug;309(2):287-92. Epub 2002 Jun 26.

Depolymerization of microtubules by colcemid induces the formation of elongated and centriole-nonassociated striated rootlets in PtK(2) cells.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Gunma University School of Medicine, 3-39-22, Showa-machi, Maebashi, Gunma 371-8511, Japan.


Striated rootlets are cross-banded structures associated with the basal body, which extends the cilium. To determine whether microtubule dynamics influence the shape and distribution of striated rootlets, we have depolymerized the microtubules by colcemid and observed the rootlets by the immunohistochemical technique with the R4109 antibody that specifically reacts with a 195-kDa protein in the rootlets in PtK(2) cells. In control interphase cells, striated rootlets were observed in various profiles such as fibrillar, branched, or looped shapes and were associated with a pair of centrioles. Treatment with colcemid (0.1 micro g/ml or more) resulted in the elongation and/or structural complication of the centriole-associated rootlets and the organization of intracytoplasmic free rootlets. These changes appeared 6 h after colcemid treatment and became more prominent with time. The changes were reversible and almost disappeared 2 h after removal of the drug. Immunoelectron microscopy confirmed that the R4109 antibody decorated both centriole-associated rootlets and free rootlets. These findings indicate functional relationships between cytoplasmic microtubules and striated rootlets and the existence of rootlet-nucleating factors in the cytoplasm, in addition to centrioles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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