A polyclonal antiserum to a microtubule-associated protein (MAP) from mouse neuroblastoma cells (MAP 4) was used to examine the distribution of this protein in mouse tissues. Immunoblots of neuroblastoma cell microtubule protein preparations demonstrated that the antiserum reacted with a triplet of proteins at 215,000-240,000 mol wt. Antibodies affinity purified from any of the bands showed cross-reaction with the other bands, indicating these polypeptides were all immunologically related. Antibodies specific to MAP 4 decorated microtubules in cultured murine cells fixed with glutaraldehyde, and diffuse staining was seen following treatment of cells with nocodazole. The antiserum reacted with MAP 4 in extracts of brain, heart, liver, and lung from adult mouse; the triplet in brain was more closely spaced than in the other tissues or neuroblastoma cells. In kidney, spleen, and stomach, only a single band (band 4) was labeled; this band was immunologically related to the triplet and was also present in all tissues positive for the triplet. Skeletal muscle, sperm, and peripheral blood contained no reactive polypeptides. After taxol-induced polymerization, the MAP 4 triplet was preferentially associated with the microtubule pellet whereas band 4 remained in the supernatant. These data indicate that there is tissue specificity in the distribution of MAP 4, and that some tissues contain a polypeptide related to MAP 4 (band 4) that does not bind to microtubules in vitro.

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