Postmortem Accumulation of Tubulin in Postsynaptic Density Preparations


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. Richard Carlin, The Rockefeller University, 1230 York Ave., New York, New York 10021, U.S.A.


Abstract: Postsynaptic density (PSD) preparations isolated from canine cerebral cortex that had been left at 0–37°C for various times were found to become enriched in two bands in a time- but not temperature-dependent manner. The two bands were identified as tubulin subunits by gel mobility and immunology. Of all the isolated synaptic structures the increase in tubulin occurred primarily in the PSD fraction. The increase of tubulin also occurred in PSD preparations isolated from canine cerebellum and rat forebrain. Results obtained when PSD fractions were isolated from canine brain obtained as rapidly as possible after the death of the animal indicate that the maximum amount of tubulin in the PSD preparations is 2.5% of total Coomassie blue-stained protein as determined by scanning of gel electrophoretograms. These results imply that tubulin is probably not a major structural protein of the PSD as it exists in situ.