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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1997;36(2):179-89.

Protein complexes containing gamma-tubulin are present in mammalian brain microtubule protein preparations.

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C.N.R.S., Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie Structurale, Toulouse, France.


The presence of gamma-tubulin in microtubule preparations, obtained by disassembly/ assembly cycles at 0degreesC/37degreesC from the brain of several mammals, is demonstrated by immunoblotting with specific antibodies directed against three distinct regions of the protein. In contrast gamma-tubulin was absent from pure tubulin obtained by chromatography on phosphocellulose, but was retained on the column with the other microtubule-associated proteins. A large part of the gamma-tubulin was present in cold stable material remaining after microtubule disassembly at OdegreesC and was partially solubilized using high salt, thus preventing its purification by the usual assembly/disassembly procedure used for alpha/beta-tubulin heterodimers. Brain gamma-tubulin was purified by affinity chromatography with gamma-tubulin antibodies raised against its carboxyl terminal region. Purified gamma-tubulin consisted of at least two polypeptides present in equal quantities and exhibiting a pI of 6.5 and 6.6, respectively. It was associated with the alpha/beta-tubulin heterodimer and with at least five other polypeptides of 75, 105, 130, 195, and 250 kDa. With the exception of the 250 kDa polypeptide, all of these proteins seem to be present in gamma-tubulin complexes isolated from Xenopus eggs. But, in contrast with Xenopus egg complexes, brain complexes exhibited a considerable heterogeneity of their apparent masses and composition in sucrose gradient centrifugation, in agreement with the absence of an homogeneous structure in electron microscopy. Despite this heterogeneity, gamma-tubulin complexes bind quantitatively to microtubule extremities. The possibility to further use mammalian brain gamma-tubulin and some of its associated proteins in biochemical and pharmacological experiments is of interest since brain microtubule protein preparations have been extensively used for studying both microtubule dynamics and the activity of microtubule poisons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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