Microtubule assembly in vitro is sensitive to a variety of non‐physiological sulfhydryl‐oxidizing agents, but the physiological significance of this phenomenon is unknown, since no physiological sulfhydryl‐oxidizing agent has been shown to affect microtubule assembly in vitro. We have accordingly investigated the interaction of tubulin with cystamine. We have found that millimolar concentrations of cystamine inhibit microtubule assembly and induce an abnormal form of tubulin polymerization. Cystamine‐induced polymerization does not occur at cold temperature. Formation of the polymer requires reaction of cystamine with two sulfhydryls which become available at 37°C. In addition, cystamine reacts with about three sulfhydryls at 0°C without inducing polymerization. This latter set of sulfhydryls appear to include one or both of the previously defined βs sulfhydryls whose reaction with N, N'‐ethylene‐bis(iodoacetamide) is markedly inhibited by GTP, maytansine and vinblastine [Roach, M. C. & Luduena, R. F. (1984) J. Biol. Chem. 259, 12063–12071]. Cystamine's specific manner of interacting with tubulin suggests that it may mimic an endogenous sulfhydryl‐directed regulator of microtubule assembly.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||European Journal of Biochemistry|
|State||Published - Jun 1987|
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