Identification of a protein that interacts with tubulin dimers and increases the catastrophe rate of microtubules

Cell. 1996 Feb 23;84(4):623-31. doi: 10.1016/s0092-8674(00)81037-5.


Using a polymerization inhibition assay, we have purified a small, heat stable protein that physically interacts with tubulin dimers and increases the catastrophe rate of microtubules. Sequence analysis identified this protein as oncoprotein 18 (Op18)/stathmin, a conserved phosphoprotein that is highly expressed in leukemia cells. Immunodepletion experiments in Xenopus egg extracts showed that Op18/stathmin is involved in physiological regulation of mitotic microtubule dynamics. Op18/stathmin is a microtubule regulator that preferentially interacts with unpolymerized subunits. It is a candidate for increasing the microtubule catastrophe rate in mitosis and might also regulate microtubule dynamics in response to external signals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Microtubule Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Microtubules / chemistry
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Phosphoproteins / analysis*
  • Stathmin
  • Thymus Gland / cytology
  • Tissue Extracts / chemistry
  • Tubulin / metabolism*
  • Xenopus
  • Xenopus Proteins


  • Microtubule Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • STMN1 protein, Xenopus
  • Stathmin
  • Tissue Extracts
  • Tubulin
  • Xenopus Proteins