Changes in the isotype composition of β-tubulin delivered to regenerating sensory axons by slow axonal transport

Paul N. Hoffman, Richard F. Luduena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


β-Tubulin is encoded by a family of genes that produces at least five distinct polypeptide isotypes in neurons. Two of these isotypes (i.e., classes II and III) preferentially accumulate in axons, and the expression of one of them (i.e., class II) correlates closely with axonal outgrowth during development and regeneration. In dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, expression of the class II isotype declines to relatively low levels during early postnatal development, and increases dramatically in mature neurons during axon regeneration (i.e., to a level comparable to that in developing neurons). in contrast, expression of the class III isotype, which rises slightly during postnatal development, increased much less than the class II isotype during regeneration. We now document that these changes in gene expression are associated with an increase in the relative amount of class II as compared to class III β-tubulin delivered to regenerating sensory axons of rat sciatic nerve by slow axonal transport. In this study, the tubulin transported in sensory axons was labeled by injecting [35S]methionine into the L5 DRG either 7 or 14 days after crushing the sciatic nerve; pulse-labeled class II and class III β-tubulin were identified using immunoprecipitation. This change in the isotype composition of β-tubulin transported in regenerating axons may influence outgrowth by altering the assembly and dynamic properties of axonal microtubules.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-333
Number of pages5
JournalBrain research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 2 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • axons regeneration
  • class II β-tubulin
  • class III β-tubulin
  • immunoprecipitation
  • slow axonal transport
  • tubulin expression
  • tubulin isotype

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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