Studying the Dynamics and Function of Microtubules to Understand the Tubulin Code

Microtubules are cell constituents that display several astounding properties and a unique pattern of behavior during the cell cycle. Microtubules are regulated by several proteins and complexes, and it has long been the endeavor of cell biologists to delineate how tubulin works, how this protein is regulated, and the impact of these mechanisms on the function of microtubules.

Some commonly used assays include immunofluorescent imaging tests using specific antibodies, or agents which lead to alterations of several different components of microtubules. Abcam can provide the appropriate tools for the study of various different microtubular processes.

Microtubule Assembly

Process Component Function Recommended Products
Microtubule nucleation γ-tubulin Forms part of the microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs), and facilitates tubulin dimer polymerization. γ-tubulin mouse monoclonal antibody [GTU-88]
Microtubule polymerization α-tubulin Polymerizes with β-tubulin to form microtubules. a-tubulin mouse monoclonal antibody [DM1A]

α-tubulin rabbit monoclonal antibody
β-tubulin Polymerizes with α-tubulin to form microtubules. β-tubulin rabbit monoclonal antibody

β-tubulin rabbit polyclonal antibody
Microtubule depolymerization Kinesins The kinesin-13 class depolymerizes microtubule by bending tubulins at microtubule ends. KIF2a rabbit polyclonal antibody

MCAK rabbit monoclonal antibody

Immunocytochemistry of formaldehyde-fixed HeLa cells stained with anti-beta tubulin antibody (ab6046). The secondary antibody (green) was ab150081 Alexa Fluor® 488 goat anti-rabbit IgG. Nuclear DNA was labeled with DAPI (shown in blue). The negative control is a secondary only assay. Click here to view the full datasheet for ab6046. 10 µl trial size available.

Immunocytochemistry of formaldehyde-fixed HeLa cells stained with anti-beta tubulin antibody (ab6046). The secondary antibody (green) was ab150081 Alexa Fluor® 488 goat anti-rabbit IgG. Nuclear DNA was labeled with DAPI (shown in blue). The negative control is a secondary only assay. Click here to view the full datasheet for ab6046. 10 µl trial size available.

Regulation of Microtubule Dynamics

Process Modification/Component Function Recommended Products
Post-translational modifications (PTMs) Acetylation Acetylation on the K40 residue contributes to microtubule stability and cell motility. Deacetylation is linked to cell cycle progression and cancer. Acetylated α-tubulin (acetyl K40) antibody [EPR16772]

Acetylated α-tubulin antibody [6-11B- 1]

Trichostatin A
Detyrosination Involved in cell differentiation and microtubule stabilization. Detyrosinated α-tubulin antibody

Human Detyrosinated α-tubulin peptide
Polyglutamylation Occurs when glutamate side chains are formed on glutamate residues. Catalyzed by tubulin tyrosine ligase like (TTLL) enzymes. TTLL4 rabbit polyclonal antibody

TTLL6 mouse monoclonal antibody
Polyamination Contributes to microtubule stabilization. It is irreversible and acts on free tubulin as well as microtubules. ZM 449829 - Potent transglutaminase inhibitor
Microtubule associated proteins (MAPs) Microtubule lattice Associates with microtubules and promote assembly and stabilization. MAP4 rabbit polyclonal antibody

Tau (phospho S396) rabbit monoclonal antibody
Plus-end tracking proteins (+TIPs) +TIP recruitment results in microtubule stabilization, continued growth, and protrusion of the plus ends (migration). EB3 rabbit monoclonal antibody

Dynamitin mouse monoclonal antibody

CLASP1 rabbit monoclonal antibody
Tubulin-binding agents Depolymerizing agents Inhibits microtubule polymerization, block mitosis and induces cell death. Most agents bind the vinca or colchicine domain. Vincristine sulfate

Colchicine

Nocodazole
Stabilizing agents Disrupts microtubules by promoting polymerization. This also inhibits mitosis and induces cell death. Paclitaxel

Docetaxel

Acetylation detection: Immunocytochemistry of formaldehyde-fixed HeLa cells stained with anti-alpha tubulin (acetyl K40) antibody [EPR16772] (ab179484). Positive control - Cell treatment with trichostatin A (ab120850), a potent deacetylase inhibitor. Nuclear DNA was labeled with DAPI (shown in blue). Click here to view the full datasheet for ab179484. 10 µl trial size available.

Acetylation detection: Immunocytochemistry of formaldehyde-fixed HeLa cells stained with anti-alpha tubulin (acetyl K40) antibody [EPR16772] (ab179484). Positive control - Cell treatment with trichostatin A (ab120850), a potent deacetylase inhibitor. Nuclear DNA was labeled with DAPI (shown in blue). Click here to view the full datasheet for ab179484. 10 µl trial size available.

Microtubule Functions

Process Component Function Recommended Products
Motility Kinesin Aided by ATP, they shuttle vesicular cargo away from the MTOC towards the plus-end of the microtubule. Kinesin 5A/B/C rabbit polyclonal antibody

Kinesin 5A rabbit polyclonal antibody

Kinesin 5C rabbit polyclonal antibody
Dynein Aided by ATP, they shuttle vesicular cargo towards the minus end of microtubules. Dynein mouse monoclonal antibody
Myosin Mainly associates with actin, but also interacts with tubulin for cargo exchange. Myosin VIIa rabbit polyclonal antibody

Non-muscle Myosin IIA rabbit monoclonal antibody
Mitosis Kinetochore Interacts with microtubules to maintain the integrity of chromatid spindles. HEC1 mouse monoclonal antibody [9G3]

Nuf2 rabbit monoclonal antibody

SPC24 rabbit monoclonal antibody

Mps1 mouse monoclonal antibody [N1] - BSA free
Cell migration Actin Crosstalk between actin and microtubules promotes symmetry break to polarize cells for division, shape changes, and migration. CytoPainter Phalloidin-iFluor 488 Reagent

Other colors available

Actin Statin

HeLa cells were stained with mouse anti-tubulin followed with a fluorescent red Goat Anti-Mouse IgG, actin filaments were stained with CytoPainter Phalloidin-iFluor 488 Reagent (ab176753), and nuclei were stained with Hoechst 33342.

HeLa cells were stained with mouse anti-tubulin followed with a fluorescent red Goat Anti-Mouse IgG, actin filaments were stained with CytoPainter Phalloidin-iFluor 488 Reagent (ab176753), and nuclei were stained with Hoechst 33342.

About Abcam

Abcam is a global life sciences company providing highly validated antibodies and other binders and assays to the research and clinical communities to help advance the understanding of biology and causes of disease.

Abcam’s mission is to serve life scientists to help them achieve their mission faster by listening to their needs, continuously innovating and improving and by giving them the tools, data and experience they want. Abcam’s ambition is to become the most influential life science company for researchers worldwide.


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Last updated: Apr 29, 2019 at 10:27 AM

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