Lattice defects in microtubules

Protofilament numbers vary within individual microtubules

D. Chrétien, F. Metoz, Fulvia Verde, E. Karsenti, R. H. Wade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

148 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have used cryo-electron microscopy of vitrified specimens to study microtubules assembled both from three cycle purified tubulin (3×-tubulin) and in cell free extracts of Xenopus eggs. In vitro assembled 3×-tubulin samples have a majority of microtubules with 14 protofilaments whereas in cell extracts most microtubules have 13 protofilaments. Microtubule polymorphism was observed in both cases. The number of protofilaments can change abruptly along individual microtubules usually by single increments but double increments also occur. For 3×-tubulin, increasing the magnesium concentration decreases the proportion of 14 protofilament microtubules and decreases the average separation between transitions in these microtubules. Protofilament discontinuities may correspond to dislocation-like defects in the microtubule surface lattice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1031-1040
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Volume117
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 1992
Externally publishedYes

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Microtubules
Tubulin
Cell Extracts
Cryoelectron Microscopy
Xenopus
Magnesium
Eggs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Chrétien, D., Metoz, F., Verde, F., Karsenti, E., & Wade, R. H. (1992). Lattice defects in microtubules: Protofilament numbers vary within individual microtubules. Journal of Cell Biology, 117(5), 1031-1040.

Lattice defects in microtubules : Protofilament numbers vary within individual microtubules. / Chrétien, D.; Metoz, F.; Verde, Fulvia; Karsenti, E.; Wade, R. H.

In: Journal of Cell Biology, Vol. 117, No. 5, 01.06.1992, p. 1031-1040.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chrétien, D, Metoz, F, Verde, F, Karsenti, E & Wade, RH 1992, 'Lattice defects in microtubules: Protofilament numbers vary within individual microtubules', Journal of Cell Biology, vol. 117, no. 5, pp. 1031-1040.
Chrétien, D. ; Metoz, F. ; Verde, Fulvia ; Karsenti, E. ; Wade, R. H. / Lattice defects in microtubules : Protofilament numbers vary within individual microtubules. In: Journal of Cell Biology. 1992 ; Vol. 117, No. 5. pp. 1031-1040.
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