Two types of ultrastructurally distinct tubulin paracrystals have been induced in sea-urchin eggs with vinblastine sulphate (VLB) under different sets of conditions. One type of paracrystal appears to consist of hexagonally-close packed microtubules and closely resembles paracrystals present in mammalian cells treated with vinblastine or vincristine sulphate, but not previously reported in sea-urchin eggs. The other type is also made up of tubulin subunits, but these do not seem to have polymerized into microtubules. Both types of paracrystal are induced in sea-urchin eggs in the presence of VLB at a time when tubulin subunits would not normally polymerize. Possible mechanisms for tubulin activation and the induction of paracrystal formation are discussed in respect to the available information on the binding sites of the tubulin subunits.

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