We previously have shown that a posttranslational modification of alpha-tubulin takes place in the flagellum during Chlamydomonas flagellar assembly (L'Hernault, S. W., and J. L. Rosenbaum, 1983, J. Cell Biol., 97:258-263). In this report, we show that the posttranslationally modified alpha-3 tubulin is changed back to its unmodified alpha-1 precursor form during the microtubular disassembly that takes place during flagellar resorption. These data indicate that the addition and removal of a posttranslational modification on alpha-tubulin might be a control step in the assembly and disassembly of flagella.

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