Title: The effects of methyl mercury binding to microtubules.
Authors: Vogel, D G; Margolis, R L; Mottet, N K
Published In Toxicol Appl Pharmacol, (1985 Sep 30)
Abstract: The effects of methyl mercury hydroxide (MeHg) on the in vitro polymerization and depolymerization of microtubules were studied. Polymerization was totally inhibited at 3.0 X 10(-5) M MeHg and depolymerization occurred at concentrations above 1.0 X 10(-5) M MeHg, reaching a maximal rate of -0.33%/min at 5.0 X 10(-5) M MeHg. At or above 1.0 X 10(-4) M MeHg, a mercury-protein aggregate formed in both the polymerization and depolymerization systems. Fifteen free sulfhydryl groups per tubulin dimer were determined, and MeHg bound to all 15. When MeHg bound to only 2 free sulfhydryl groups per dimer, it inhibited polymerization. MeHg bound to free sulfhydryl groups exposed uniquely on the surface of microtubules, as well as those free sulfhydryl groups exposed on the ends. These results show MeHg in vitro to be a potent microtubule assembly inhibitor at ratios stoichiometric with the tubulin dimer. The effects of MeHg on microtubules are presumably mediated through MeHg binding to free sulfhydryl groups both on the ends and on the surface of microtubules. The presence of binding sites (free sulfhydryl groups) on the microtubule surface suggests multiple classes of binding sites for MeHg.
PubMed ID: 4035699
MeSH Terms: Animals; Brain/ultrastructure; Cattle; Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel; Methylmercury Compounds/metabolism*; Microscopy, Electron; Microtubules/metabolism*; Molecular Weight; Nephelometry and Turbidimetry; Polymers/metabolism; Rats; Sulfhydryl Compounds/analysis; Tubulin/metabolism