Normal interphase PtK2 and A549 cells display long microtubules radiating from the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) to the plasma membrane. Both MTOC and Golgi apparatus are contained in the same perinuclear area. Treatment of cells with 1 microM colcemid for 2 h results in microtubule depolymerization and fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus into elements scattered throughout the cytoplasm. Both normal microtubules and the Golgi apparatus assemble again following removal of colcemid. Injection of the alpha, beta-nonhydrolyzable GTP analog, guanosine 5'(alpha, beta-methylene)diphosphate [pp(CH2)pG], into interphase cells growing in normal medium results in the formation of microtubule bundles resistant to colcemid and prevents the fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus. Injection of pp(CH2)pG into cells incubated with colcemid results in substitution of tubulin ribbons for microtubules and has no effect on the Golgi-derived elements scattered throughout the cytoplasm. Removal of colcemid 1 h after the injection of pp(CH2)pG results in polymerization of large numbers of short, single randomly oriented microtubules, whereas the Golgi apparatus remains fragmented. Treatment of cells with 10 microM taxol for 3 h results both in polymerization of microtubule bundles without relation to the MTOC in the cell periphery and fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus. The Golgi-derived fragments are present exclusively in regions of the peripheral cytoplasm enriched in microtubules. The codistribution of microtubules and Golgi elements can be reversed in taxol-treated cells by injection of a monoclonal (YL 1/2) antibody reacting specifically with the tyrosylated form of alpha-tubulin. Cells incubated with colcemid after treatment with taxol have large numbers of Golgi-derived elements in close association with colcemid-resistant microtubule bundles. Incubation of cells with 50 microM vinblastine for 90 min results in microtubule dissembly, formation of tubulin paracrystals, and fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus into elements without relation to the tubulin paracrystals.

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