Tubulin content and synthesis in differentiating Drosophila cells in culture. Academic Article uri icon


  • Drosophila Kc cells exposed to physiological doses of the moulting hormone, beta-ecdysone, elongate, become motile, and subsequently aggregate. This pattern of morphogenesis was found to require the assembly of a microtubular cytoskeleton. Tubulin content was significantly increased in hormone-treated cells when compared to controls, as measured by a 3H-colchicine-binding assay. However, determinations of rates of tubulin synthesis and breakdown revealed no difference between control and hormone-treated cells for either parameter. When tubulin content was assayed by methods that do not depend on colchicine-binding activity, no difference between hormone-treated and control cells was observed. These results are discussed in terms of a model in which beta-ecdysone affects the distribution of tubulin in "assembly-active" and "assembly-inactive" pools.

publication date

  • 1980