Two monoclonal antibodies against a-tubulin (YL1/2 and D2D6) were microinjected into the egg of the sand dollar Clypeaster japonicus, and their effects on cleavage of the egg were investigated. They had already been shown by immunobloting to react specifically with egg tubulin and by immunofluorescence to stain the mitotic apparatus [OKA et al., (1990). CellMotil. Cytoskel. 16: 239-250]. Injection of YL1/2 prevented chromosome movement and cleavage, although the cleavage furrow developed in some cases. In all eggs injected at prometaphase, metaphase, or anaphase, the birefringence of the mitotic apparatus disappeared immediately after injection. Injection of D2D6 had no significant effect on mitosis or cleavage of whole eggs injected after nuclear disappearance, although it prevented the disappearance of the nuclear envelope in 54% of the eggs injected before the disappearance. FITC-conjugated D2D6 did not accumulate in the spindle when injected into the dividing sand dollar egg. These results indicate that YL1/2 disassembled microtubules, whereas D2D6 did not bind to microtubules in the living cell.
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