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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Feb 27;315(1):196-203.

Identification and molecular cloning of Tetrahymena 138-kDa protein, a transcription elongation factor homologue that interacts with microtubules in vitro.

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Institute of Biological Sciences, The University of Tsukuba, 1-1-1 Tennoudai, Tsukuba-shi, Ibaraki-ken 305-8572, Japan.


Macronucleus of Tetrahymena divides amitotically, although in a microtubule-dependent fashion. Besides the localization study and pharmacological study of macronuclear microtubules, mechanism of the macronuclear division is poorly understood. A biochemical search for microtubule-associated protein was attempted from the isolated macronucleus. Improvement on macronucleus isolation method and microtubule coprecipitation assay led to the cloning of p138, a new homologue of transcription elongation factor FACT (facilitates chromatin transcription) 140kDa subunit. DNase treatment test of macronuclear extract and the sequence of p138 suggested that p138 is associated with chromosome in the macronucleus. The release tests of p138 from microtubules indicated that p138 is released from microtubules in the presence of ATP but not in the presence of AMP-PNP. Together, the results suggest a novel function of FACT homologue, that p138 interacts with both microtubules and chromosome.

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