Tubulin is the major component of microtubules, essential cell cytoskeleton proteins involved in mitosis, cytokinesis and transport of vesicles and organelles. Tubulin is a dimer composed of one alpha and one beta tubulin molecule, which assemble as microtubules in a GTP-dependent manner. The beta-Tubulin molecule exerts GTPase activity to hydrolyze to GDP, effectively governing microtubule formation. Tubulin bound to GTP is prone to form microtubules whereas GDP-bound tubulin molecules in microtubules readily disassemble.
There are several isoforms of beta tubulin which are expressed in a tissue-specific manner. Beta II and beta IV Tubulin are ubiquitously expressed. Beta-III Tubulin, also known as tubulin beta-4, is regarded as a neuron-specific marker. The expression of beta-III Tubulin has been suggested to be one of the earliest markers to signal neuronal commitment in primitive neuroepithelium. One known exception to the neuron-specific nature of beta-III Tubulin expression occurs during cancer formation. Increased expression of beta-III Tubulin in certain cancer cells has lead to the development of anti-tubulin drugs as a novel chemotherapy strategy.
R&D Systems offers beta-III Tubulin antibodies produced from the mouse hybridoma clone TuJ-1 that was elicited from a mouse immunized with rat brain-derived microtubules. These antibodies react with mammalian and chicken neuron-specific beta-III Tubulin but not with other beta tubulin isotypes in glial cells. These antibodies label neuronal cell bodies, dendrites, axons, and axonal terminations and are commonly used for the identification of newly committed neurons. In addition, beta-III Tubulin antibodies serve an excellent loading control when normalizing data specifically for neuronal expression. This may be particularly relevant for biochemical studies of protein expression in Alzheimers disease brain tissue, which may have an increased glial content compared to non-diseased controls.
In addition, we also offer beta-III Tubulin (TuJ-1) antibodies that are directly conjugated to our NorthernLights™ secondary antibodies. NorthernLights conjugated antibodies are bright and deliver a high signal to noise ration, making them ideal for fluorescence microscopy.