Isolation of Filaments from Brain

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Science  17 Dec 1971:
Vol. 174, Issue 4015, pp. 1242-1245
DOI: 10.1126/science.174.4015.1242


A method is presented for the isolation of filaments of 90-angstrom diameter from the white matter of bovine brain by first floating the myelinated axons in a centrifugal field and then fractionating the axons on a series of density gradients. This results in a fraction that contains two types of bundles of filaments but few other constituents. The filaments are stable over a wide range of temperatures and at both low and high ionic strength. Their density and their resistance to digestion by ribonuclease and deoxyribonuclease indicate that they are primarily protein. The molecular weight of the subunit is approximately 60,000. The protein does not comigrate with microtubule protein and does not bind cholcicine or nucleotides.