Microtubules, one of the cytoskeletons, are highly dynamic structures that play a variety of roles in maintaining cell morphology, cell division and intracellular transport. Microtubules are composed of heterodimers of α- and β-tubulins, which are repeatedly polymerized and depolymerized. To investigate the radiation-induced impacts on the polymerization reaction of tubulins, we evaluated the molecular interactions between normal and irradiated tubulins. First, the polymerization reaction of the tubulins was measured after stepwise irradiation from 0 Gy to 1,000 Gy of X rays. The polymerization was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner. Next, the tubulins' polymerization reaction was then measured after the tubulin that was damaged from the exposure to 1,000 Gy of X rays was mixed with the normal tubulins. Our findings reveal that the radiation dose-dependent change in the degree of overall microtubule polymerization progression depends on the ratio of damaged tubulin. This result is biochemical evidence that non-DNA damage (in this case, cytoskeletal damage) from cytoplasmic radiation exposure may inhibit cell division, suggesting that some cytoskeletal damage may also affect the fate of the entire cell.
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Vol. 198 • No. 2