Colchicine forms a complex in vivo with a protein present in fertilized or unfertilized sea urchin eggs; similar binding was obtained in vitro with the soluble fraction from egg homogenates. Kinetic parameters and binding equilibrium constant were essentially the same in vivo and in vitro. The binding site protein was shown to have a sedimentation constant of 6S by zone centrifugation. The protein was present in extracts of the isolated mitotic apparatus at a concentration which was several times higher than in whole-egg homogenates. It was extracted from the mitotic apparatus at low ionic strength under conditions which lead to the disappearance of microtubules. No binding could be detected to the 27S protein, previously described by Kane, which is a major protein component of the isolated mitotic apparatus. The properties of the colchicine-bindinG protein, (binding constant, sedimentation constant, Sephadex elution volume) are similar to those obtained with the protein from mammalian cells, sea-urchin sperm tails, and brain tissue, and thus support the conclusion that the protein is a subunit of microtubules.

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