We describe here a new α-tubulin isoform from sunflower we named απ-tubulin. απ-tubulin is the most divergent higher-plant α-tubulin described so far, having an unusual deletion in the H1/B2 loop and a glutamine-rich C-terminus. We constructed a three-dimensional model and discuss its implications. Using specific antibodies, we show that απ-tubulin expression is restricted to the male gametophyte. απ-tubulin mRNA represents 90% of α-tubulin mRNA and a small percentage of total pollen mRNA. Among the plants tested, απ-tubulin was only detected in sunflower and in Cosmos. Since both plants are Asteraceae, we propose that απ-tubulin is specific to this family. Our results suggest that απ-tubulin can inhibit tubulin assembly in pollen. This hypothesis is reinforced by the fact that απ-tubulin is found in a complex with β-tubulin in mature sunflower pollen.
Plant Molecular Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 13, 2004
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