Monoclonal antibodies were raised against a complex of proteins that was purified following the crosslinking of tubulin to the centromeres of CHO chromosomes using Lomant's reagent. One of the clones, hybridoma 32–9, produced antibodies that reacted with a 40 × 10(3) Mr protein present in the crosslinked complex. Furthermore, immunoblot analysis demonstrated that the 40 × 10(3) Mr antigen was present in various mammalian cell types from several different species. Indirect immunofluorescence using the antibody produced by clone 32–9 demonstrated that the 40 × 10(3) Mr antigen was associated with both spindle and cytoplasmic microtubules. In addition, centromere/kinetochore staining was detected in metaphase-arrested cells, while staining of prekinetochores in interphase nuclei was not observed. Unlike microtubule-associated proteins and microtubule-dependent ATPases, the 40 × 10(3) Mr protein did not copurify with microtubules when tubules were assembled from cellular homogenates using taxol and either GTP or GTP and AMP-PNP. Instead, the 40 × 10(3) Mr protein remained associated with the insoluble cellular material. The 40 × 10(3) Mr antigen could be released from the insoluble pelleted material by extraction with 1 M NaCl. Once solubilized, the 40 × 10(3) Mr protein was able to copurify with microtubules in assembly assays in vitro. This monoclonal antibody should serve as a valuable probe for studies of centromere/kinetochore structure and function.

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