Sequence of one alpha- and two beta-tubulin genes of Tetrahymena pyriformis. Structural and functional relationships with other eukaryotic tubulin genes

J Mol Biol. 1988 Aug 5;202(3):365-82. doi: 10.1016/0022-2836(88)90271-9.


Macronuclear DNA of the ciliate Tetrahymena pyriformis contains only one size class of fragments coding for alpha-tubulin, alpha TT. We have isolated alpha TT from a partial plasmid library, using Chlamydomonas reinhardtii alpha-tubulin gene as a probe. This gene as well as the two beta-tubulin genes, beta TT1 and beta TT2, have been sequenced. None of these genes contains introns and all use TGA as the stop codon. In the coding region of the two beta-tubulin genes, there are several TAA and TAG stop codons that probably code for glutamine. The codon usage is very biased. Regions flanking the tubulin coding sequences are A + T-rich (75%) and quite different among themselves. In these regions there are several putative transcription-regulatory sequences. Nuclear transcripts begin and terminate at multiple sites. The beta-tubulin proteins differ only in two amino acid residues. Primary structure of Tetrahymena tubulins as well as their hydropathy indexes show a high degree of homology with tubulins from other organisms. Two-dimensional electrophoretic analysis of the ciliary tubulins shows the presence of eight alpha-tubulins and four beta-tubulins. The alpha-tubulins migrate faster than the beta-tubulins, in contrast with what happens with brain tubulins. We suggest that there are several alpha- and beta-tubulin isoforms and the migratory inversion observed may be due to post-translational modifications.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA
  • Genes*
  • Humans
  • Isoelectric Focusing
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Tetrahymena pyriformis / genetics*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Tubulin / genetics*


  • Tubulin
  • DNA