Article: article from journal or magazin.
An isoform of microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) containing four repeats of the tubulin-binding motif.
Journal of Cell Science
106 ( Pt 2)
Microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) exists in both high- and low-molecular mass isoforms, each of which has a tubulin-binding domain consisting of 3 imperfect tandem repeats of 31 amino acids containing a more highly conserved 18 amino acid 'core' sequence. We describe here a novel form of low molecular mass MAP2 (MAP2c) that contains an additional 4th repeat of this tubulin-binding motif. Like the 3 previously known repeat sequences, this 4th copy is highly conserved between MAP2 and the two other known members of the same gene family, tau and MAP4. In each of these three genes the additional 4th repeat is inserted between the 1st and 2nd repeats of the 3-repeat form of the molecule. Experiments with brain cell cultures, in which the relative proportions of neurons and glia had been manipulated by drug treatment, showed that 4-repeat MAP2c is associated with glial cells whereas 3-repeat MAP2c is expressed in neurons. Whereas 3-repeat MAP2c is expressed early in development and then declines, the level of 4-repeat MAP2c increases later in development, corresponding to the relatively late differentiation of glial cells compared to neurons. When transfected into non-neuronal cells, the 4-repeat version of MAP2c behaved indistinguishably from the 3-repeat form in stabilising and rearranging cellular microtubules. The presence of an additional 4th repeat of the tubulin-binding motif in all three members of the MAP2 gene family suggests that this variant arose prior to their differentiation from an ancestral gene.
Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Base Sequence, Binding Sites/genetics, Brain/growth & development, Brain/metabolism, Cells, Cultured, Cloning, Molecular, DNA/genetics, Microtubule-Associated Proteins/chemistry, Microtubule-Associated Proteins/genetics, Molecular Sequence Data, Molecular Weight, Neuroglia/metabolism, Neurons/metabolism, Rats, Repetitive Sequences, Nucleic Acid, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, Tubulin/metabolism, tau Proteins/genetics
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