Vinblastine-induced aggregation of brine shrimp (Artemia) tubulin

Sara A. Mackinlay, Richard F. Ludueña, Thomas H. MacRae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Tubulin from the brine shrimp Artemia readily assembles in vitro in the absence of microtubule-associated proteins under conditions which do not permit assembly of tubulin from brain. Heated microtubule-associated protein preparations from bovine brain do, however, interact with Artemia tubulin, resulting in stimulation of tubulin assembly and formation of morphologically normal cold-sensitive microtubules. Addition of vinblastine to mixtures containing microtubules assembled in the presence of neural microtubule-associated proteins caused a drop and then a rise in turbidity of the solution. The turbidity changes were accompanied by the appearance of coils, presumably derived from the microtubules which disappeared upon addition of vinblastine. Coils also resulted when microtubule-associated proteins and vinblastine were added to tubulin before polymerization was initiated. Vinblastine prevented normal assembly and caused disruption of Artemia microtubules polymerized in the absence of microtubule-associated proteins. Under these conditions clumped or compact coils, different in appearance from those formed in the presence of the microtubule-associated proteins, were observed. The data confirm that tubulin from Artemia, an organism that is phylogenetically far removed from mammals, has retained binding sites for vinblastine and microtubule-associated proteins and that the interrelationship of these sites has been at least partially preserved. The incomplete depolymerization of Artemia microtubules in response to vinblastine when microtubule-associated proteins are absent suggests that the longitudinal tubulin-tubulin interactions involved in microtubule formation are more stable for Artemia than for neural tubulin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)419-426
Number of pages8
JournalBBA - General Subjects
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 16 1986


  • (Artemia)
  • Tubulin aggregation
  • Vinblastine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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