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Cell Regul. 1990 Nov;1(12):921-36.

Microtubule perturbation inhibits intracellular transport of an apical membrane glycoprotein in a substrate-dependent manner in polarized Madin-Darby canine kidney epithelial cells.

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Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


The effects of microtubule perturbation on the transport of two different viral glycoproteins were examined in infected Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells grown on both permeable and solid substrata. Quantitative biochemical analysis showed that the microtubule-depolymerizing drug nocodazole inhibited arrival of influenza hemagglutinin on the apical plasma membrane in MDCK cells grown on both substrata. In contrast, the microtubule-stabilizing drug taxol inhibited apical appearance of hemagglutinin only when MDCK cells were grown on permeable substrata. On the basis of hemagglutinin mobility on sodium dodecyl sulfate gels and its sensitivity to endo H, it was evident that nocodazole and taxol arrested hemagglutinin at different intracellular sites. Neither drug caused a significant increase in the amount of hemagglutinin detected on the basolateral plasma membrane domain. In addition, neither drug had any noticeable effect on the transport of the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-G protein to the basolateral surface. These results shed light on previous conflicting reports using this model system and support the hypothesis that microtubules play a role in the delivery of membrane glycoproteins to the apical, but not the basolateral, domain of epithelial cells.

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