Different patterns of expression of beta-tubulin genes in Tetrahymena pyriformis during reciliation

Eur J Biochem. 1991 Apr 23;197(2):291-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-1033.1991.tb15910.x.


The ciliate Tetrahymena pyriformis contains one alpha-tubulin (alpha TT) and two beta-tubulin (beta TT1 and beta TT2) genes. The specific expression of these genes was investigated by Northern blot hybridization using oligonucleotide probes complementary to beta TT1 and beta TT2 genes and the coding region of the alpha-tubulin gene. The three genes are expressed producing 1.8-kb mRNAs but the level of beta TT1 mRNA is much higher than that of beta TT2 mRNA. During cilia regeneration, we found that the expression patterns of the alpha TT and beta TT1 genes are similar whereas that of the beta TT2 gene is different. The alpha TT and beta TT1 transcripts reached higher values between 60-120 min after the onset of reciliation than in exponentially growing cells, while beta TT2 transcripts were maintained at low levels during the whole period. The differences in the amounts of steady-state populations of the both beta-tubulin mRNAs do not correspond to the copy number per haploid genome. These differences could result from the fact that the promoter region of beta TT2 may contain highly structured sequences which would affect the binding of the respective trans-acting factor(s). The apparent transcription rate revealed a significant increase at 15 min of reciliation which could be responsible for the high levels of alpha TT and beta TT1 transcripts in the cytoplasm between 60-120 min of reciliation. This coordinated response to cilia regeneration of the alpha TT and beta TT1 tubulin genes is also a relevant aspect of our findings. Several conserved motifs found in their promoter regions led us to think that some of them may function as cis-elements in the specific binding of nuclear protein factor(s).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Cilia*
  • DNA / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Tetrahymena pyriformis / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Tubulin / genetics*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tubulin
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M60272
  • GENBANK/M60273
  • GENBANK/M60352
  • GENBANK/M60353
  • GENBANK/M60354
  • GENBANK/X56255
  • GENBANK/X56256
  • GENBANK/X56257
  • GENBANK/X57264
  • GENBANK/X57265