Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part B, Biochemistry & molecular biology

Soluble tubulin complexes, gamma-tubulin, and their changing distribution in the zebrafish (Danio rerio) ovary, oocyte and embryo.

PMID 17293149


Tubulin dynamics, i.e., the interchange of polymeric and soluble forms, is important for microtubule (MTs) cellular functions, and thus plays essential roles in zebrafish oogenesis and embryogenesis. A novel finding in this study revealed that there were soluble pools of tubulins in zebrafish oocytes that were sequestered and maintained in a temporary "oligomeric" state, which retained assembling and disassembling potential (suggested by undetected acetylated tubulin, marker of stable tubulin), but lacked abilities to assemble into MTs spontaneously in vivo. Using differential centrifugation, gel chromatography and DM1A-probed western blot, soluble alpha-tubulin was found to be associated with large molecular weight complexes (MW range to over 2 MDa) which were reduced in amount by the blastula stage, especially in some batches of embryos, with a concomitant decrease in soluble tubulin. Complexes (MW range less than 2 MDa) then increased in the gastrula with an increase in soluble alpha-tubulin. Two different anti-gamma-tubulin monoclonal antibodies, GTU 88 and TU 30, revealed the existence of soluble gamma-tubulin in both zebrafish oocytes and embryos, which also decreased by the blastula stage and increased in the gastrula stage. Soluble alpha-tubulin and gamma-tubulin extracted from zebrafish ovaries, oocytes and embryos co-localized in fractions on three different columns: S-200 Sephacryl, DEAE and Superose-6b. The soluble tubulin complexes were competent to assemble into MTs in vitro induced by taxol, and gamma-tubulin was co-localized with assembled MTs. These soluble tubulin complexes were stable during freeze-thaw cycles and resisted high ionic interaction (up to 1.5 M NaCl). Furthermore, some ovarian soluble alpha-tubulin could be co-immunoprecipitated with gamma-tubulin, and vice versa. Two antibodies specific for Xenopus gamma-tubulin ring complex proteins (Xgrip 109 and Xgrip 195) detected single bands from ovarian extracts in western blots, suggesting the existence of Xgrip 109 and Xgrip 195 homologues in zebrafish. These findings, together with recent work on gamma-tubulin ring complexes in oocytes, eggs and embryos of other species, suggest that soluble gamma-tubulin-associated protein complexes may be involved in regulating tubulin dynamics during zebrafish oogenesis and embryogenesis.