The microtubule-organizing center of D. discoideum is a nucleus-associated body (NAB) that consists of a multilayered, box-shaped core embedded in an amorphous corona from which the microtubules emerge. The composition of the NAB is still largely unresolved. Here we have examined a high molecular mass component of the NAB which was identified by a monoclonal antibody raised against isolated nucleus/NAB complexes. This antibody recognized a 350 kDa component which is immunologically related to the D. discoideum heavy chain of myosin II. The 350 kDa antigen was localized only at the NAB in interphase cells, while in mitotic cells it may also be found in the vicinity of the NAB as well as in association with the mitotic spindle. Immunogold labeling experiments showed that the protein is part of the NAB corona. This association was not destroyed by treatment with 2 M urea or 0.6 M KCl. The 350 kDa antigen was part of the thiabendazole-induced cytoplasmic microtubule-organizing centers. A direct role in the polymerization of tubulin could not be determined in an in vitro microtubule nucleation assay, whereas antibody electroporation of live cells appeared to interfere with the generation of a normal microtubule system in a subset of cells. Our observations suggest that the 350 kDa antigen is a structural component of the NAB corona which could be involved in its stabilization.

This content is only available via PDF.