gamma-tubulin is a minor tubulin that is localized to the microtubule organizing center of many fungi and higher eucaryotic cells (Oakley, B. R., C. E. Oakley, Y. Yoon, and M. C. Jung. 1990. Cell. 61: 1289-1301; Stearns, T., L. Evans, and M. Kirschner. 1991. Cell. 65:825-836; Zheng, Y., M. K. Jung, and B. R. Oakley. 1991. Cell. 65:817-823). Here we show that gamma-tubulin is a component of a previously isolated complex of Drosophila proteins that contains at least two centrosomal microtubule-associated proteins called DMAP190 and DMAP60. Like DMAP190 and DMAP60, the gamma-tubulin in extracts of early Drosophila embryos binds to microtubules, although this binding may be indirect. Unlike DMAP190 and DMAP60, however, only 10-50% of the gamma-tubulin in the extract is able to bind to microtubules. We show that gamma-tubulin binds to a microtubule column as part of a complex, and a substantial fraction of this gamma-tubulin is tightly associated with DMAP60. As neither alpha- nor beta-tubulin bind to microtubule columns, the gamma-tubulin cannot be binding to such columns in the form of an alpha:gamma or beta:gamma heterodimer. These observations suggest that gamma-tubulin, DMAP60, and DMAP190 are components of a centrosomal complex that can interact with microtubules.

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