Microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) that copurify with tubulin through multiple cycles of in vitro assembly have been implicated as regulatory factors and effectors in the in vivo activity of microtubules. As an approach to the analysis of the functions of these molecules, a collection of lymphocyte hybridoma monoclonal antibodies has been generated using MAPs from HeLa cell microtubule protein as antigen. Two of the hybridoma clones secrete IgGs that bind to distinct sites on what appears to be a 200,000-dalton polypeptide. Both immunoglobulin preparations stain interphase and mitotic apparatus microtubules in cultured human cells. One of the clones (N-3B4.3.10) secretes antibody that reacts only with cells of human origin, while antibody from the other hybridoma (N-2B5.11.2) cross-reacts with BSC and PtK1 cells, but not with 3T3 cells. In PtK1 cells the N-2B5 antigen is associated with the microtubules of the mitotic apparatus, but there is no staining of the interphase microtubule array; rather, the antibody stains an ill-defined juxtanuclear structure. Further, neither antibody stains vinblastine crystals in either human or marsupial cells at any stage of the cell cycle. N-2B5 antibody microinjected into living PtK1 cells binds to the mitotic spindle, but does not cause a rapid dissolution of either mitotic or interphase microtubule structures. When injected before the onset of anaphase, however, the N-2B5 antibody inhibits proper chromosome partition in mitotic PtK1 cells. N-2B5 antibody injected into interphase cells causes a redistribution of MAP antigen onto the microtubule network.

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