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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Role of nucleotides in tubulin polymerization: effect of guanylyl 5'-methylenediphosphonate.

Incubation of 48,000 X g rat brain supernatants for 30 min at 37 degrees with 1-2 mM guanylyl 5'-methylenediphosphonate [Gmp(CH2)pp] results in polymerization of 95-98% of the tubulin present. This is considerably more than the 50% polymerization that can be achieved with the natural nucleotide, GTP, under optimal conditions. Gmp(CH2)pp is also much more effective than GTP in inducing polymerization of purified tubulin. Assembly of microtubules with Gmp(CH2)pp occurs at tubulin concentrations one-third of those possible with GTP. Furthermore, with Gmp(CH2)pp, microtubule assembly does not require the high molecular weight basic proteins needed with GTP. Polymerization of tubulin by Gmp(CH2)pp is neither prevented nor reversed by concentrations of calcium (2 mM) that can either prevent microtubule assembly or disrupt already formed microtubules if the nucleotide used is GTP or guanylyl imidodiphosphate. When Ca2+ is added before or after microtubule assembly, electron microscopy of the Gmp(CH2)pp preparations reveals normal microtubules turning into twisted ribbons. Low temperature (4 degrees) can both prevent and disrupt the tubulin assembled Gmp(CH2)pp although disruption proceeds much more slowly when GTP is used.[1]


  1. Role of nucleotides in tubulin polymerization: effect of guanylyl 5'-methylenediphosphonate. Sandoval, I.V., MacDonald, E., Jameson, J.L., Cuatrecasas, P. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1977) [Pubmed]
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