C6 cell tubulin is indistinguishable from hog brain tubulin with respect to its molecular weight, amino acid composition, and colchicine-binding activity. Moreover, microtubule assembly systems from both sources form the same structures: rings, ribbons, tubules, and drug-induced polymers. There is, nevertheless, a difference between the cultured cell and brain systems which lies in the nature of their microtubule-associated accessory proteins. C6 microtubule preparations exhibit few rings at 0 degrees C, have low polymerization yield, and have a low content of accessory proteins. The addition of brain accessory proteins enhances the numbers of rings, and the yield of microtubules, to levels comparable with those of brain preparations. The polymerizing ability of C6 microtubule protein decays much faster than that of brain, but it can be restored by the addition of brain accessory protein. The results suggest that C6 accessory proteins are more labile than their brain counterparts.

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