Microtubule dynamics in vitro are regulated by the tubulin isotype composition

Dulal Panda, Herbert P. Miller, Asok Banerjee, Richard F. Ludueña, Leslie Wilson

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290 Scopus citations


The growing and shortening dynamics of individual bovine brain microtubules at their plus ends at steady state in vitro, assembled from isotypically pure αβ(II), αβ(III), or αβ(IV) tubulin dimers, were determined by differential interference contrast video microscopy. Microtubules assembled from the purified αβ(III) isotype were considerably more dynamic than microtubules made from the αβ(II) or αβ(IV) isotypes or from unfractionated phosphocellulose-purified tubulin. Furthermore, increasing the proportion of the αβ(II) isotype in a mixture of the αβ(II) and αβ(III) isotypes suppressed microtubule dynamics, demonstrating that microtubule dynamics can be influenced by the tubulin isotype composition. The data support the hypothesis that cells might determine the dynamic properties and functions of its microtubules in part by altering the relative amounts of the different tubulin isotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11358-11362
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number24
StatePublished - Nov 22 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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