The synthesis of a fluorescent colchicine derivative permits the localization of colchicine-binding receptors in cells. Fluorescein colchicine (FC) was prepared by the addition of fluorescein isothiocyanate to deacetyl colchicine. The product, FC, was separated from the reactants by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). The purity of FC was demonstrated by TLC, UV spectral analysis, and analysis of the kinetics of photodecomposition. FC inhibited [3H] colchicine binding to purified brain tubulin. The biological activity of FC was compared to the activity of unlabeled colchicine on mitosis, motility, secretion, and myogenesis. The effects of FC were identical to those of unlabeled colchicine in all biological systems tested. The results demonstrate that FC may be substituted for colchicine in biological experiments without significant loss in specificity or effectiveness.

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