Analysis of mutations in beta-tubulin genes affecting tubulin stability and assembly

Barbara Ann Boggs, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Cmd4 is a colcemid-sensitive CHO cell line that is temperature sensitive for growth and expresses an altered $\beta$-tubulin, $\beta\sb1$. One revertant of this cell line, D2, exhibits a further alteration in $\beta\sb1$ resulting in an acidic shift in its isoelectric point and a decrease in its molecular weight to 40 kD, as measured by two dimensional gel electrophoresis. This $\beta$-tubulin variant has been shown to be assembly-defective and unstable. Characterization of the mutant $\beta\sb1$ in D2 by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) revealed the loss of methionine containing tryptic peptides 7,8,9, and 10. Southern analysis of the genomic DNA digested with several different restriction enzymes resulted in the appearance of new restriction fragments 250 base pairs shorter than the corresponding fragments from the wild-type $\beta\sb1$-tubulin gene. Northern analysis on mRNA from D2 revealed two new message products that also differed by 250 bases from the corresponding wild type $\beta$-tubulin transcripts. To precisely define the region of the alteration, cloning and sequencing of the mutant and wild type genomic $\beta$-tubulin genes were conducted. A size-selected EcoRI genomic library was prepared using the Stratagene lambda Zap II phage cloning system. Using subclones of CHO $\beta$-tubulin cDNA as probes, a 2.5 kb wild type clone and a 2.3 kb mutant clone were identified from this library. Each of these was shown to contain a portion of the gene extending from intron 3 through the end of the coding sequence in exon 4 and into the 3$\sp\prime$ untranslated region on the basis of alignment with the published human $\beta$-tubulin sequence. Sequencing of the mutant 2.3 kb clone revealed that the mutation is due to a 246 base pair internal deletion in exon 4 (base pair 756-1001) that encodes amino acids 253-334. This deletion results in the loss of a putative binding site for GTP which could potentially explain the phenotype of this mutant $\beta$-tubulin. Also sequence comparison of the 3$\sp\prime$ untranslated region between different species revealed the conservation of 200 base pairs with 78% homology. It is proposed that this region could play an important role in the regulation of $\beta$-tubulin gene expression.

Subject Area

Genetics|Molecular biology

Recommended Citation

Boggs, Barbara Ann, "Analysis of mutations in beta-tubulin genes affecting tubulin stability and assembly" (1990). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9117607.