A subset of mRNAs, polyribosomes, and poly(A)-binding proteins copurify with microtubules from sea urchin embryos. Several lines of evidence indicate that the interaction of microtubules with ribosomes is specific: a distinct stalk-like structure appears to mediate their association; ribosomes bind to microtubules with a constant stoichiometry through several purification cycles; and the presence of ribosomes in these preparations depends on the presence of intact microtubules. Five specific mRNAs are enriched with the microtubule-bound ribosomes, indicating that translation of specific proteins may occur on the microtubule scaffolding in vivo.

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