We have synthesized three new fluorescent analogues of tubulin, using fluorescein or rhodamine groups attached to N-hydroxy-succinimidyl esters, and have partially characterized the properties of these analogues. We have also further characterized the tubulin derivatized with dichlorotriazinyl-aminofluorescein that has previously been used in this and other laboratories. Our results show that all four analogues assemble into microtubules which break up when exposed to light of the wavelengths that excite fluorescence. This sensitivity places severe constraints on the use of these analogues in studies of microtubule dynamics.

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