Immunoelectron Microscopy of Giardia Lamblia Cytoskeleton Using Antibody to Acetylated Alpha-Tubulin

J Eukaryot Microbiol. Nov-Dec 1994;41(6):625-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1550-7408.1994.tb01524.x.


Giardia lamblia trophozoites contain acetylated alpha-tubulin but lack detectable levels of tyrosinolated alpha-tubulin, as demonstrated in immunoblots with monoclonal antibodies specific for these tubulin forms. By immunofluorescence microscopy, acetylated alpha-tubulin is localized in axonemes, median bodies and in the adhesive disk. Post-embeddment immunogold labeling of thin sections of cells was used to evaluate acetylation at the level of individual microtubules by electron microscopy. Cells were fixed with glutaraldehyde and embedded in the acrylic resin LR Gold. Results indicate all microtubules in adhesive disk, axonemes, basal bodies, funis and the median bodies contain acetylated alpha-tubulin. Unlike immunofluorescence labeling, all microtubules of the adhesive disk and the funis could be gold labeled. No nonspecific labeling of the cytoplasm or of structures other than microtubules was observed. Acetylated microtubules in G. lamblia do not appear to be a subset of microtubules and acetylation appears uniform along the entire length of individual microtubules. Acetylation and the tyrosinolation state of microtubules in Giardia are discussed in the context of microtubule stability and crosslinked features of the cytoskeleton.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Acrylic Resins
  • Animals
  • Flagella / chemistry
  • Flagella / ultrastructure
  • Giardia lamblia / ultrastructure*
  • Gold
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Microtubules / chemistry
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure*
  • Tubulin / analysis*
  • Tubulin / immunology


  • Acrylic Resins
  • Tubulin
  • Gold
  • LR gold