Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of jcellbiolHomeThe Rockefeller University PressEditorsContactInstructions for AuthorsThis issue
J Cell Biol. 1987 December 1; 105(6): 3065–3073.
PMCID: PMC2114727

Isotypes of alpha-tubulin are differentially regulated during neuronal maturation


The mRNAs for two isotypes of alpha-tubulin, termed T alpha 1 and T26, are known to be expressed in the rat nervous system. We have compared the expression of these two alpha-tubulin mRNAs during neural development, using RNA blotting and in situ hybridization techniques with probes directed against unique sequences of each mRNA. T alpha 1 mRNA is highly enriched in the embryonic nervous system but is markedly less abundant in the adult brain; T26 mRNA is expressed in many embryonic tissues with little change in abundance during development. Within the nervous system, T alpha 1 mRNA is enriched in regions with neurons actively undergoing neurite extension, such as the cortical plate, whereas T26 mRNA is relatively homogeneous in distribution, with some enrichment in proliferative zones. Expression of T alpha 1 mRNA is also increased in PC12 cells induced to differentiate and extend neurite processes by nerve growth factor. Taken together, the data indicate that T alpha 1-tubulin mRNA is expressed at high levels during the extension of neuronal processes. The abundant expression of T alpha 1-tubulin mRNA may therefore reflect either a means to increase the available pool of alpha-tubulin or a specific requirement for the T alpha 1 isotype for neurite extension.

Full Text

The Full Text of this article is available as a PDF (2.5M).

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Angevine JB, Jr, Sidman RL. Autoradiographic study of cell migration during histogenesis of cerebral cortex in the mouse. Nature. 1961 Nov 25;192:766–768. [PubMed]
  • Aviv H, Leder P. Purification of biologically active globin messenger RNA by chromatography on oligothymidylic acid-cellulose. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1972 Jun;69(6):1408–1412. [PubMed]
  • Berry M, Rogers AW. The migration of neuroblasts in the developing cerebral cortex. J Anat. 1965 Oct;99(Pt 4):691–709. [PubMed]
  • Bond JF, Farmer SR. Regulation of tubulin and actin mRNA production in rat brain: expression of a new beta-tubulin mRNA with development. Mol Cell Biol. 1983 Aug;3(8):1333–1342. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Bond JF, Robinson GS, Farmer SR. Differential expression of two neural cell-specific beta-tubulin mRNAs during rat brain development. Mol Cell Biol. 1984 Jul;4(7):1313–1319. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Chirgwin JM, Przybyla AE, MacDonald RJ, Rutter WJ. Isolation of biologically active ribonucleic acid from sources enriched in ribonuclease. Biochemistry. 1979 Nov 27;18(24):5294–5299. [PubMed]
  • Cleveland DW, Sullivan KF. Molecular biology and genetics of tubulin. Annu Rev Biochem. 1985;54:331–365. [PubMed]
  • Cowan NJ. Tubulin genes and the diversity of microtubule function. Oxf Surv Eukaryot Genes. 1984;1:36–60. [PubMed]
  • Cowan NJ, Dobner PR, Fuchs EV, Cleveland DW. Expression of human alpha-tubulin genes: interspecies conservation of 3' untranslated regions. Mol Cell Biol. 1983 Oct;3(10):1738–1745. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Daniels MP. Colchicine inhibition of nerve fiber formation in vitro. J Cell Biol. 1972 Apr;53(1):164–176. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Denhardt DT. A membrane-filter technique for the detection of complementary DNA. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1966 Jun 13;23(5):641–646. [PubMed]
  • Drubin DG, Feinstein SC, Shooter EM, Kirschner MW. Nerve growth factor-induced neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells involves the coordinate induction of microtubule assembly and assembly-promoting factors. J Cell Biol. 1985 Nov;101(5 Pt 1):1799–1807. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ginzburg I, Behar L, Givol D, Littauer UZ. The nucleotide sequence of rat alpha-tubulin: 3'-end characteristics, and evolutionary conservation. Nucleic Acids Res. 1981 Jun 25;9(12):2691–2697. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ginzburg I, Teichman A, Griffin WS, Littauer UZ. Differential expression of alpha-tubulin mRNA in rat cerebellum as revealed by in situ hybridization. FEBS Lett. 1986 Jan 1;194(1):161–164. [PubMed]
  • Gozes I, Littauer UZ. Tubulin microheterogeneity increases with rat brain maturation. Nature. 1978 Nov 23;276(5686):411–413. [PubMed]
  • Lau JT, Pittenger MF, Havercroft JC, Cleveland DW. Reconstruction of tubulin gene regulation in cultured mammalian cells. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1986;466:75–88. [PubMed]
  • Lemischka IR, Farmer S, Racaniello VR, Sharp PA. Nucleotide sequence and evolution of a mammalian alpha-tubulin messenger RNA. J Mol Biol. 1981 Sep 5;151(1):101–120. [PubMed]
  • Lenoir D, Battenberg E, Kiel M, Bloom FE, Milner RJ. The brain-specific gene 1B236 is expressed postnatally in the developing rat brain. J Neurosci. 1986 Feb;6(2):522–530. [PubMed]
  • Lewis SA, Lee MG, Cowan NJ. Five mouse tubulin isotypes and their regulated expression during development. J Cell Biol. 1985 Sep;101(3):852–861. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Luckenbill-Edds L, Van Horn C, Greene LA. Fine structure of initial outgrowth of processes induced in a pheochromocytoma cell line (PC12) by nerve growth factor. J Neurocytol. 1979 Aug;8(4):493–511. [PubMed]
  • Melton DA, Krieg PA, Rebagliati MR, Maniatis T, Zinn K, Green MR. Efficient in vitro synthesis of biologically active RNA and RNA hybridization probes from plasmids containing a bacteriophage SP6 promoter. Nucleic Acids Res. 1984 Sep 25;12(18):7035–7056. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Miller FD, Naus CC, Higgins GA, Bloom FE, Milner RJ. Developmentally regulated rat brain mRNAs: molecular and anatomical characterization. J Neurosci. 1987 Aug;7(8):2433–2444. [PubMed]
  • Milner RJ, Sutcliffe JG. Gene expression in rat brain. Nucleic Acids Res. 1983 Aug 25;11(16):5497–5520. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Raedler E, Raedler A. Autoradiographic study of early neurogenesis in rat neocortex. Anat Embryol (Berl) 1978 Sep 27;154(3):267–284. [PubMed]
  • Rave N, Crkvenjakov R, Boedtker H. Identification of procollagen mRNAs transferred to diazobenzyloxymethyl paper from formaldehyde agarose gels. Nucleic Acids Res. 1979 Aug 10;6(11):3559–3567. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Schibler U, Tosi M, Pittet AC, Fabiani L, Wellauer PK. Tissue-specific expression of mouse alpha-amylase genes. J Mol Biol. 1980 Sep 5;142(1):93–116. [PubMed]
  • Shoukimas GM, Hinds JW. The development of the cerebral cortex in the embryonic mouse: an electron microscopic serial section analysis. J Comp Neurol. 1978 Jun 15;179(4):795–830. [PubMed]
  • Thomas PS. Hybridization of denatured RNA and small DNA fragments transferred to nitrocellulose. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1980 Sep;77(9):5201–5205. [PubMed]
  • Tischler AS, Greene LA. Nerve growth factor-induced process formation by cultured rat pheochromocytoma cells. Nature. 1975 Nov 27;258(5533):341–342. [PubMed]
  • Vale RD, Schnapp BJ, Mitchison T, Steuer E, Reese TS, Sheetz MP. Different axoplasmic proteins generate movement in opposite directions along microtubules in vitro. Cell. 1985 Dec;43(3 Pt 2):623–632. [PubMed]
  • Villasante A, Wang D, Dobner P, Dolph P, Lewis SA, Cowan NJ. Six mouse alpha-tubulin mRNAs encode five distinct isotypes: testis-specific expression of two sister genes. Mol Cell Biol. 1986 Jul;6(7):2409–2419. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Wang D, Villasante A, Lewis SA, Cowan NJ. The mammalian beta-tubulin repertoire: hematopoietic expression of a novel, heterologous beta-tubulin isotype. J Cell Biol. 1986 Nov;103(5):1903–1910. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Wise SP, Fleshman JW, Jr, Jones EG. Maturation of pyramidal cell form in relation to developing afferent and efferent connections of rat somatic sensory cortex. Neuroscience. 1979;4(9):1275–1297. [PubMed]
  • Wolff A, Denoulet P, Jeantet C. High level of tubulin microheterogeneity in the mouse brain. Neurosci Lett. 1982 Aug 31;31(3):323–328. [PubMed]
  • Woods DE, Markham AF, Ricker AT, Goldberger G, Colten HR. Isolation of cDNA clones for the human complement protein factor B, a class III major histocompatibility complex gene product. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1982 Sep;79(18):5661–5665. [PubMed]

Articles from The Journal of Cell Biology are provided here courtesy of The Rockefeller University Press