Affordable Access

Polymerization of tubulin in vivo: direct evidence for assembly onto microtubule ends and from centrosomes

The Journal of Cell Biology
The Rockefeller University Press
Publication Date
  • Articles
  • Chemistry


Microtubule assembly in vivo was studied by hapten-mediated immunocytochemistry. Tubulin was derivatized with dichlorotriazinylaminofluorescein (DTAF) and microinjected into living, interphase mammalian cells. Sites of incorporation were determined at the level of individual microtubules by double-label immunofluorescence. The haptenized tubulin was localized by an anti- fluorescein antibody and a second antibody conjugated with fluorescein. Total microtubules were identified by anti-tubulin and a secondary antibody conjugated with rhodamine. Contrary to recent studies (Salmon, E. D., et al., 1984, J. Cell Biol., 99:2165-2174; Saxton, W. M., et al., 1984, J. Cell Biol., 99:2175-2186) which suggest that tubulin incorporates all along the length of microtubules in vivo, we found that microtubule assembly in interphase cells was in vivo, as in vitro, an end-mediated process. Microtubules that radiated out toward the cell periphery incorporated the DTAF-tubulin solely at their distal, that is, their plus ends. We also found that a proportion of the microtubules connected to the centrosomes incorporated the DTAF-tubulin along their entire length, which suggests that the centrosome can nucleate the formation of new microtubules.

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.


Seen <100 times