Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed the presence of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) on microtubules in neuronal and nonneuronal cells. Interphase and mitotic spindle microtubules, as well as centrosomes, were all labeled with antibodies against individual PP2A subunits, showing that the AB alpha C holoenzyme is associated with microtubules. Biochemical analysis showed that PP2A could be reversibly bound to microtubules in vitro and that approximately 75% of the PP2A in cytosolic extracts could interact with microtubules. The activity of microtubule-associated PP2A was differentially regulated during the cell cycle. Enzymatic activity was high during S phase and intermediate during G1, while the activity in G2 and M was 20-fold lower than during S phase. The amount of microtubule-bound PP2A remained constant throughout the cell cycle, implying that cell cycle regulation of its enzymatic activity involves factors other than microtubules. These results raise the possibility that PP2A regulates cell cycle-dependent microtubule functions, such as karyokinesis and membrane transport.

This content is only available as a PDF.