The neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) gene was recently identified by positional cloning and found to encode a protein with structural and functional homology to mammalian and yeast GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs). Using antibodies directed against the NF1 gene product, a protein of ∼250kDa was identified and termed neurofibromin. Double-indirect immunofluorescent labeling with anti-neurofibromin and anti-tubulin antibodies demonstrates that neurofibromin associates with cytoplasmic microtubules. Immunoblotting of microtubule-enriched cytoplasmic fractions, using antibodies generated against neurofibromin, shows that neurofibromin copurifies with microtubules. When portions of neurofibromin are expressed in Sf9 insect cells they associate with polymerized microtubules; furthermore, the critical residues for this interaction reside within the GAP-related domain of neurofibromin. The unexpected association of neurofibromin with microtubules suggests that neurofibromin is involved in microtubule-mediated intracellullar signal transduction pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-274
Number of pages10
JournalSomatic Cell and Molecular Genetics
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1993


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