A quasi-elastic laser light scattering study of tubulin and microtubule protein from bovine brain

Gerald R. Palmer, David C. Clark, Peter M. Bayley, David B. Sattelle

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    Quasi-elastic light scattering has been used to characterize the oligomeric properties of solutions of glycerol-cycled bovine microtubule protein, and the properties of the 30 S oligomeric species and 6 S tubulin heterodimer prepared by gel filtration on Sepharose 6B. It is shown that in dimer preparations, as little as 0.04% by number of 30 S rings would account for the difference between an observed mean diffusion coefficient D20, W = 3.1 × 10-7 cm2 s-1 and the value of D20, W = 5.1 × 10-7 cm2 s-1 calculated for tubulin dimer of Mrel 100,000. The 30 S ring has an observed diffusion coefficient of D20, W = 0.49 × 10-7 cm2 s-1. These values are not changed significantly by the presence of 4 m-glycerol, indicating the persistence of 6 S and 30 S forms for dimer and ring, respectively. Mixtures of ring and dimer components of this preparation behave as a non-interacting two-component system, indicating the absence of substantial re-equilibration between the species at 5 °C and pH 6.5. The effect of salt on ring and microtubule protein samples indicates partial dissociation, consistent with the formation of additional intermediate oligomeric forms. In quasi-elastic light scattering measurements adapted to kinetic studies, changes in the oligomeric composition of microtubule protein are detected in the early stages of the reversible assembly process at pH 6.5. A 25% decrease in scattered light intensity, without significant change in mean diffusion coefficient, indicates the lability of the ring oligomeric structures, which undergo partial transformation to alternative oligomeric species under these assembly conditions. © 1982.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)641-658
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of molecular biology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 1982


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