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The Journal of biological chemistry

Preparation of a monoclonal antibody specific for the class IV isotype of beta-tubulin. Purification and assembly of alpha beta II, alpha beta III, and alpha beta IV tubulin dimers from bovine brain.


PMID 1544937

Abstract

Tubulin, the 100-kDa subunit protein of microtubules, is a heterodimer of two 50-kDa subunits, alpha and beta. Both alpha and beta subunits exist as numerous isotypic forms. There are four isotypes of beta-tubulin in bovine brain tubulin preparations; their designations and relative abundances in these preparations are as follows: beta I, 3%; beta II, 58%; beta III, 25%; and beta IV, 13%. We have previously reported the preparation of monoclonal antibodies specific for beta II and beta III (Banerjee, A., Roach, M. C., Wall, K. A., Lopata, M. A., Cleveland, D. W., and Luduena, R. F. (1988) J. Biol. Chem. 263, 3029-3034; Banerjee, A., Roach, M. C., Trcka, P., and Luduena, R. F. (1990) J. Biol. Chem. 265, 1794-1799). We here report the preparation of a monoclonal antibody specific for beta IV. By using this antibody together with those specific for beta II and beta III, we have prepared isotypically pure tubulin dimers with the composition alpha beta II, alpha beta III, and alpha beta IV. We have found that, in the presence of microtubule-associated proteins, all three dimers assemble into microtubules considerably faster and to a greater extent than does unfractionated tubulin. More assembly was noted with alpha beta II and alpha beta III than with alpha beta IV. When assembly is measured in the presence of taxol (10 microM), little difference is seen among the isotypically purified dimers or between them and unfractionated tubulin. These results indicate that the assembly properties of a tubulin preparation are influenced by its isotypic composition and raise the possibility that the structural differences among tubulin isotypes may have functional significance.

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