We have used cryo-electron microscopy of vitrified specimens to study microtubules assembled both from three cycle purified tubulin (3 x-tubulin) and in cell free extracts of Xenopus eggs. In vitro assembled 3x-tubulin samples have a majority of microtubules with 14 protofilaments whereas in cell extracts most microtubules have 13 protofilaments.… (More)
Tubulin from bovine brain was polymerized in vitro using a variety of assembly conditions. Many of the formed microtubules were shown to contain 14 wall protofilaments. The number of microtubules containing 14 protofilaments increased with consecutive repetitions of cold-dissociation followed by reassembly in vitro.