Neurofibromatosis type 1 gene product (neurofibromin) associates with microtubules
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- Gregory, P.E., Gutmann, D.H., Mitchell, A. et al. Somat Cell Mol Genet (1993) 19: 265. doi:10.1007/BF01233074
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The neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) gene was recently identified by positional cloning and found to encode a protein with structural and functional homology to mammalian and yeast GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs). Using antibodies directed against the NF1 gene product, a protein of ∼250kDa was identified and termed neurofibromin. Double-indirect immunofluorescent labeling with anti-neurofibromin and anti-tubulin antibodies demonstrates that neurofibromin associates with cytoplasmic microtubules. Immunoblotting of microtubule-enriched cytoplasmic fractions, using antibodies generated against neurofibromin, shows that neurofibromin copurifies with microtubules. When portions of neurofibromin are expressed in Sf9 insect cells they associate with polymerized microtubules; furthermore, the critical residues for this interaction reside within the GAP-related domain of neurofibromin. The unexpected association of neurofibromin with microtubules suggests that neurofibromin is involved in microtubule-mediated intracellullar signal transduction pathways.