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Protist. 2003 Jul;154(2):193-209.

Gamma-tubulin and MTOCs in Paramecium.

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Centre de Génétique Moléculaire du CNRS, 91190 Gif-sur-Yvette, France.


The characterization of the two Paramecium gamma-tubulin genes, gammaPT1 and gammaPT2, allowed us to raise Paramecium-specific antibodies, directed against their most divergent carboxy-terminal peptide and to analyze the localization and dynamics of gamma-tubulin throughout the cell cycle. As in other cell types, a large proportion of the protein was found to be cytosolic, but in contrast to the general situation, gamma-tubulin was found to be permanently associated to four types of sites: basal bodies, the micronuclear compartment--within which mitotic and meiotic spindles develop without membrane breakdown, the pores of the contractile vacuoles and the cytoproct which are cortical microtubular organelles fulfilling excretory functions. In addition, a transient site of gamma-tubulin and microtubule assembly was observed at the site of nuclear exchange during conjugation. This complexity accounts for the nucleation of most of the numerous and diverse microtubule arrays present in Paramecium. The sites and mode of nucleation of the microtubule bundles formed in the macronuclear compartment during division remain unclear. These observations lead us to discuss the relationships between microtubules, gamma-tubulin and MTOCs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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