Alpha Tubulin: A Fundamental Cytoskeleton Protein with Many Roles

Tue, 09/03/2013 - 13:07

The cytoskeleton is consists of three major type of cytosolic fibers: microtubules, microfilaments (actin filaments), and intermediate filaments. Tubulins are the microtubule building block and exist as globular dimeric proteins of alpha/beta chains. There are five distinct forms: alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and epsilon tubulin. Alpha and beta tubulins assemble into heterodimers which then multimerize to form the long microtubule filaments. Several fundamental cellular movements require microtubules – the beating of cilia and flagella, cytoplasmic transport of membrane vesicles, chromosome alignment during meiosis/mitosis, nerve-cell axon migration, etc. These movements all result from a balance and dynamic competition between both the complementary and opposing actions of microtubule polymerization and depolymerization processes, coupled with the actions of microtubule motor proteins along the tubules themselves.

Immunocytochemistry/Immunofluorescence: alpha Tubulin Antibody Immunocytochemistry/Immunofluorescence: alpha Tubulin Antibody

Alpha tubulin antibody helped validate a 2D-gel electrophoresis and immunohistochemical proteomic screen being done to identify novel molecular biomarkers to grade and classify astrocytoma tumors(1).  This multifaceted approach netted fifteen potential markers and a global, initial reference map for brain gliomas. Kim’s group used alpha tubulin antibody to evaluate the effect of a vascular disrupting agent (VDA) known as CKD-516 (a tubulin polymerization inhibitor) on tubulin destabilization and tumor necrosis(2). Embryonal carcinoma germ lines were studied to understand mechanisms of cisplatin resistance, and alpha tubulin antibody allowed investigators to demonstrate the involvement of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) and homologous recombination repair(3). Some interesting results out of Kadiu’s lab with alpha tubulin antibody indicate that HIV-1 hijacks macrophage endocytic and cytoskeletal trafficking systems via bridging conduits for high-speed cell-to-cell spread(4). Raman, et al. relied upon the alpha tubulin antibody in their neurological dysfunction studies and found that selenium and selenoprotein distribution and turnover are regulated by the brain-specific selenoprotein P (Seep1) as well as the scavenger enzyme selenocysteine lysase (Scly)(5).

  1. PMID: 15952716
  2. PMID: 23299389
  3. PMID: 23251575
  4. PMID: 21789505
  5. PMID: 22487427

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