Laser-transected microtubules exhibit individuality of regrowth, however most free new ends of the microtubules are stable


Abstract. To study the possible mechanism of microtubule turnover in interphase cells, we have used the 266-nm wavelength of a short-pulsed Nd/YAG laser to transect microtubules in situ in PtK2 cells at predefined regions. The regrowth and shrinkage of the transected microtubules have been examined by staining the treated cells with antitubulin mAb at various time points after laser irradiation. The results demonstrate that microtubules grow back into the transected zones individually; neither simultaneous growth nor shrinkage of all microtubules has been observed. The half-time of replacement of laser-dissociated microtubules is observed to be '~10 min. On the other hand, exposure of the core of the microtubule, which is expected to consist almost completely of GDP-tubulin

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