Microtubule gelation-contraction: essential components and relation to slow axonal transport

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Science  20 Nov 1987:
Vol. 238, Issue 4830, pp. 1119-1122
DOI: 10.1126/science.2446388


Preparations of microtubule proteins isolated by assembly and disassembly undergo gelation-contraction after addition of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). A particulate fraction from these preparations that is required, along with purified tubulin, to produce ATP-dependent microtubule gelation-contraction in vitro has been isolated. The particulates exhibited microtubule-stimulated adenosine triphosphatase activity and moved slowly (about 1 micrometer per minute) along microtubule walls in the presence of ATP. The particulates contained tubulin, neurofilament, and spectrin polypeptides. The composition, solubility, and motility of the particulates are consistent with those of slow component a of axonal transport.

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