Change in the Heterogeneous Distribution of Tubulin Isotypes in Mitotic Microtubules of the Sea Urchin Egg by Treatment with Microtubule Depolymerizing or Stabilizing Drugs

Mikako T. Oka, Yukihisa Hamaguchi, Takao Arai

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In the mitotic sea urchin egg, the spindle microtubules were composed of different tubulin isotypes from those of astral microtubules using monoclonal antibodies [Oka et al. (1990) Cell Motil. Cytoskeleton, 16, 239–250]. Three of the antibodies, D2D6, DM1B, and YL1/2, were specific for spindle microtubules, astral microtubules and reactive with both microtubules, respectively. The mitotic sea urchin egg was treated with microtubule depolymerizing (colcemid and nocodazole) and stabilizing (hexylene glycol) drugs and change in the heterogeneous distribution of the tubulin isotypes was investigated by the immunofluorescence procedure using these three monoclonal anti-tubulin antibodies. We observed that: (1) the microtubule depolymerizing drugs caused quick depolymerization of most mitotic microtubules, and a small number of spindle microtubules remaining were stained with all three antibodies; (2) hexylene glycol induced many microtubules in the mitotic apparatus, which was stained with D2D6 but was not stained with DM1B; (3) hexylene glycol also induced a great number of miniasters in the cytoplasm, and they were stained with three antibodies. These results suggest that these drugs altered the distribution of tubulin isotypes in the mitotic microtubules during depolymerization or polymerization within a short time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-134
Number of pages10
JournalCell structure and function
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1991 Jan 1



  • colcemid
  • hexylene glycol
  • microtubule heterogeneity
  • mitotic apparatus
  • sea urchin egg
  • tubulin isotypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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