The inhibitions of microtubule protein (MTP) and tubulin 6S polymerizations by cis-dichlorodiammine-platinum(II) (CDDP) have been investigated by turbidity measurements and electron microscopy. For 2.5 X 10(-4) M CDDP after 40 min contact time at 27 degrees, the inhibition was 60% for MTP (1.2 mg/ml) and nearly 90% for tubulin 6S (1.2 mg/ml). Microtubules were not present after a 1 hr contact time at 27 degrees with 2.5 X 10(-4) M CDDP. Free sulfhydryl group determinations with 5,5'-dithio-bis-(2-nitrobenzoate) (DTNB) showed that 20.10 (+/- 0.05) sulfhydryl groups were found per tubulin dimer. In the presence of excess CDDP, this number was reduced to 17.74 (+/- 0.05) after a 1 hr contact time at 27 degrees. By using CDDP-tubulin dialysis assays, the CDDP-tubulin complex formation was found to be an irreversible reaction through a covalent binding at the sulfhydryl group sites. By the DEAE filter paper method, CDDP was shown to slightly decrease vinca-alkaloid and colchicine bindings to tubulin likely by inducing a conformational change of the protein.