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The monoclonal antibody 6-11B-1 recognises specifically the acetylated form of alpha-tubulin. The acetylation event occurs on a unique lysine residue, lysine 40. Using 6-11B-1, acetylated alpha-tubulin was detected in myxamoebae but not plasmodia of Physarum polycephalum. Following chemical acetylation plasmodial alpha-tubulin was detected by 6-11B-1. The monoclonal antibody KMP-1 recognises certain Physarum alpha-tubulin isotypes but only in non-acetylated form. Whilst recognising all the non-acetylated fraction of myxamoebal alpha-tubulin only a proportion of plasmodial alpha-tubulin was recognised by KMP-1. Peptides were synthesised corresponding to the acetylation domains (containing lysine 40) of myxamoebal alpha-tubulin and the inferred acetylation domains of two plasmodial-specific alpha-tubulin isotypes. The only difference between the two peptides was at a single residue corresponding to amino acid 44 in the polypeptide. Tyrosine was present in myxamoebal alpha-tubulin and glycine was present in the plasmodial specific peptides; the peptides are referred to as the Tyr44 and Gly44 peptides respectively. Both peptides in acetylated form blocked 6-11B-1 reactivity towards acetylated myxamoebal alpha-tubulin. The Tyr44 but not the Gly44 peptide blocked KMP-1 reactivity towards non-acetylated myxamoebal alpha-tubulin. Tyrosine at position 44 is not found in any other known alpha-tubulin. Thus a unique antigenic determinant exists in certain Physarum alpha-tubulin isotypes, close to the acetylation site at lysine 40. This antigenic determinant forms part of the KMP-1 recognition epitope and explains the unique isotype selectivity of this monoclonal antibody.


Journal article


Eur J Biochem

Publication Date





383 - 389


Acetylation, Amino Acid Sequence, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Antibody Specificity, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Epitopes, Immunoblotting, Isoenzymes, Lysine, Molecular Sequence Data, Peptide Mapping, Peptides, Physarum, Tubulin