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The relationship of hydrophobic tubulin with membranes in neural tissue

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Brain membrane preparations contain tubulin that can be extracted with Triton X-114. After the extract is allowed to partition, 8% of the total brain tubulin is isolated as a hydrophobic compound in the detergent-rich phase. Cytosolic tubulin does not show this hydrophobic behaviour since it is recovered in the aqueous phase. Membrane tubulin can be released by 0.1 M Na2CO3 treatment at pH≥11.5 in such a way that the hydrophobic tubulin is converted into the hydrophilic form. These results suggest that tubulin exists associated with some membrane component that confers the hydrophobic behaviour to tubulin. If the tissue is homogenized in microtubule-stabilizing buffer containing Triton X-100, the hydrophobic tubulin is isolated from the microtubule fraction. This result indicates that the hydrophobic tubulin isolated from membrane preparations belongs to microtubules thatin vivo are associated to membranes. Therefore, hydrophobic tubulin (tubulin-membrane component complex) can be obtained from membranes or from microtubules depending on the conditions of brain homogenization.

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Correspondence to Héctor S. Barra.

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Beltramo, D.M., Nuñez, M., Alonso, A.d.C. et al. The relationship of hydrophobic tubulin with membranes in neural tissue. Mol Cell Biochem 141, 57–63 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00935591

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Key words

  • hydrophobic tubulin
  • membrane tubulin
  • tubulin
  • microtubules