Monoclonal antibodies specific for each of the flagellar tektins were prepared and used to determine whether structures similar to tektin filaments are present in cells lacking cilia or flagella. This analysis was performed by double-label immunofluorescence microscopy of several cell lines and by immunoblots of protein fractions. Two of the four anti-tektin antibodies, the antibodies 3-7-1 and 3-10-1, which bind different epitopes of the C-tektin, label 3T3, HeLa, PtK2, and BHK-21 cells as well as myotubes. The antibody 3-7-1 stains intermediate filament structures in the cells and binds vimentin or desmin in preparations of cytoskeletal proteins; whereas the antibody 3-10-1 stains nuclear envelopes in the cells and binds lamin A and C in preparations of cytoskeletal proteins or nuclear lamina. Structural similarities between the C-tektin and intermediate filament proteins probably are extended to more than two epitopes because polyclonal antibodies anti-vimentin and anti-desmin bind to C-tektin. These polyclonal antibodies also bind to A-tektin. The cross-reaction of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies binding to epitopes in tektin and intermediate filament components and the existence of a high content of alpha-helical structure in the tektin subunits (Linck, R. W., and G. L. Langevin, 1982, J. Cell Sci., 58:1-22) indicate that tektin and intermediate filaments are homologous in several parts of their structure.

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