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Cell Mol Neurobiol. 1991 Dec;11(6):593-610.

Posttranslational modifications of tubulin in teleost photoreceptor cytoskeletons.

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Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley 94720.


1. Posttranslational modifications of tubulin by acetylation and detyrosination have been correlated previously with microtubule stability in numerous cell types. 2. In this study, posttranslational modifications of tubulin and their regional distribution within teleost photoreceptor cones and rods are demonstrated immunohistochemically using antibodies specific for acetylated, detyrosinated, or tyrosinated tubulin. 3. Immunolocalization was carried out on isolated whole cones and mechanically detached rod and cone inner/outer segments. 4. Acetylated tubulin within rods and cones is found only in microtubules of the ciliary axoneme of the outer segment. Detyrosinated tubulin is also enriched in axonemes of both rod and cone outer segments. 5. Distributions of tyrosinated and detyrosinated cytoplasmic microtubules differ within cones and rods. In cones, detyrosinated and tyrosinated tubulins are both abundant throughout the cell body. In rods, the ellipsoid and myoid contain much more tyrosinated tubulin than detyrosinated tubulin. Comparisons between whole cones and cone fragments suggest that detyrosinated microtubules are more stable than tyrosinated microtubules in teleost photoreceptors. 6. Our findings provide further evidence that microtubules of teleost cones differ from rod microtubules in their stabilities and rapidity of turnover within the photoreceptor inner segment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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