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J Histochem Cytochem. 2011 Jun;59(6):630-8. doi: 10.1369/0022155411405334. Epub 2011 Mar 18.

Differential distribution of posttranslationally modified microtubules in osteoclasts.

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Division of Oral Anatomy, Asahi University School of Dentistry, Mizuho, Gifu, Japan. mail:


The differential distribution of microtubules in osteoclasts in culture was examined by using antibodies against acetylated, tyrosinated, or detyrosinated tubulins. Tyrosinated tubulin was found throughout the cytoplasmic microtubules in all cells examined. An expanding protrusion that contained tyrosinated tubulin but none of the detyrosinated or acetylated form was seen in the immature osteoclasts. Detyrosinated or acetylated tubulin was detectable in the peripheral cytoplasm of the mature osteoclasts displaying the loss of the expanding protrusion. Although most of the microtubules were derived from the centrosome, noncentrosomal microtubules were distributed in the expanding protrusion, which was predominantly positive for tyrosinated tubulin. By tracing single microtubules, the authors found that their growing ends were always rich in tyrosinated tubulin subunits. End binding protein 1 bound preferentially to the microtubule ends. Both acetylated and tyrosinated microtubules were shown to be closely associated with podosomes. Microtubules appeared to grow over or into the podosomes; in addition, the growing ends of single microtubules could be observed to target the podosomes. Moreover, a microtubule-associated histone deacetylase 6 was localized in the podosomes of the osteoclast. On the basis of these results, the authors conclude that posttranslational modifications of microtubules may correlate with characteristic changes in podosome dynamics in osteoclasts.

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