Microtubule Turbidity Assay

Tubulin polymerization is detectable by light scattering in a turbidity assay

Overview

Tubulin polymerizes with characteristic kinetics including a lag phase indicative of nucleation, a log phase indicative of polymerization, and a steady-state phase indicative of no net polymer growth. These phases can be observed in real time by monitoring the turbidity of tubulin-containing solutions. The effect of microtubule associated proteins and/or pharmacological agents on microtubule polymerization kinetics can also be assessed with this assay.

Tubulin protein in solution (right) becomes turbid relative to buffer alone (left) as a consequence of microtubule polymerization.

Protocol