TBBC (for Trypanosoma brucei basal body component) is a unique gene transcribed in a 4.8 kb mRNA encoding a 1,410 amino acid protein that consists almost entirely of a coiled coil structure. This protein appeared to localize in the basal body, with an accessory presence at the posterior end of the cell, the nucleus and over the flagellum. Since the two other known components of the trypanosome basal body are (gamma)-tubulin and an uncharacterized component termed BBA4 we performed double immunofluorescence experiments with anti-TBBC and either anti-BBA4 or anti-(gamma)-tubulin antibodies. These three components did not colocalize but were very closely associated, BBA4 being the most proximal to the kinetoplast DNA. Anti-TBBC antibodies detected a 170 kDa protein in western blots of total HeLa cell extracts. Moreover, these antibodies stained the centriole of HeLa and COS cells as well as the centriole of mouse spermatozoa, indicating that a TBBC-like centriolar component has been conserved during the evolution of eukaryotes.
- © 1999 by Company of Biologists