Increased microtubule assembly in bovine brain tubulin lacking the type IIi isotype of beta-tubulin
Banerjee, A.; Roach, M.C.; Trcka, P.; Ludueña, R.F.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 265(3): 1794-1799
ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9258 PMID: 2404018 Accession: 040408744
Tubulin, the major constituent protein of microtubules, is a heterodimer of alpha and beta subunits. Both alpha and beta exist in multiple isotypic forms. It is not clear if different isotypes perform different functions. In order to approach this question, we have made a monoclonal antibody specific for the beta III isotype of tubulin. This particular isotype is neuron-specific and appears to be phosphorylated near the C terminus. We have used immunoaffinity depletion chromatography to prepare tubulin lacking the beta III subunit. We find that removal of the beta III isotype results in a tubulin mixture able to assemble much more rapidly than is unfractionated tubulin when reconstituted with either of the two microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs), tau or MAP 2. Our results suggest that the different isotypes of tubulin differ from each other in their ability to polymerize into microtubules. We have also found that the anti-beta III antibody can stimulate microtubule assembly when reconstituted with tubulin and either tau or MAP 2. When reconstituted with tubulin lacking the beta III isotype, the antibody causes the tubulin to polymerize into a polymer that is a microtubule in the presence of MAP 2 and a ribbon in the presence of tau.