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Mol Cell Biochem. 1993 Apr 7;121(1):67-74.

Biochemical and electron microscopy analysis of the endotoxin binding to microtubules in vitro.

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Centro de Biología Molecular (CSIC-UAM), Universidad Autónoma, Canto Blanco, Madrid, Spain.


The mechanisms involved in cellular activation and damage by bacterial endotoxins are not completely defined. In particular, there is little information about possible intracellular targets of endotoxins. Recently, the participation of a microtubule associated protein in endotoxin actions on macrophages has been suggested. In the present work, we have studied the effect of E. coli lipopolysaccharide on the polymerization of microtubular protein in vitro. Electrophoretic analysis of the polymerization mixtures showed that the endotoxin inhibited the polymerization when present at high concentrations. At lower concentrations, LPS selectively displaced the microtubule associated protein MAP-2 from the polymerized microtubules. Electron microscopy showed that LPS binds to microtubules of tubulin + MAPs and to microtubules of purified tubulin (without MAPs) polymerized with taxol. Gel filtration experiments confirmed the binding of LPS to tubulin, and by ligand blot assays an interaction LPS-MAP-2 was detected. The ability of LPS to interact with microtubular proteins suggests a possible participation of microtubules on the cellular effects of endotoxins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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