Microtubule protein purified from brain tissue by cycles of in vitro assembly-disassembly contains ATPase activity that has been postulated to be associated with microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) and therefore significant for studies of microtubule-dependent motility. In this paper we demonstrate that greater than 90% of the ATPase activity is particulate in nature and may be derived from contaminating membrane vesicles. We also show that the MAPs (MAP-1, MAP-2, and tau factors) and other high molecular weight polypeptides do not contain significant amounts of ATPase activity. These findings do not support the concept of "brain dynein" or of MAPs with ATPase activity.

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