Functional Properties of β-Tubulin In Vivo

  • Daniel M. Bollag
  • Michael D. Rozycki
  • Stuart J. Edelstein
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Series in Biophysics book series (BIOPHYSICS, volume 3)


Microtubules, cytoskeletal organelles composed of αβ tubulin heterodimers, are implicated in a wide variety of cell functions including nuclear division, intracellular transport and cell motility (Dustin, 1984). Neither the specific roles nor the detailed structure of the individual tubulin subunits have been established, since the conditions necessary for separating the heterodimer result in loss of the subunits’ ability to repolymerize. We have used plasmids which allow regulated overexpression of β-tubulin alone or both tubulin subunits in the yeast Saccharomvces cerevisiae to dissect the properties of the tubulin subunits in vivo. Under conditions of tubulin induction, β-tubulin overproducing cells are shown to accumulate fibrous structures associated with the cell membrane, as revealed by immunofluorescence microscopy. Simultaneous overexpression of both α- and β-tubulin subunits also yields membrane-associated filamentous arrays. We conclude that β-tubulin subunits are competent to assemble into elongated supramolecular structures, essentially devoid of α-tubulin subunits.


Crude Extract Protein Tubulin Gene Fluorescein Staining Tubulin Antibody Tubulin Subunit 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel M. Bollag
    • 1
  • Michael D. Rozycki
    • 1
  • Stuart J. Edelstein
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of GenevaGeneva 4Switzerland

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