Mouse neuroblastoma cells express a spectrin-related molecule containing 240 kDal (kiloDalton) and 235 kDal subunits in a 1:1 ratio. The 240 kDal and 235 kDal subunits are nearly identical to the α and β subunits respectively of brain spectrin by two dimensional chymotryptic peptide mapping analysis. The neuroblastoma cells do not express a measureable quantity of a red blood cell (rbc)-type spectrin molecule. Neuroblastoma spectrin has been localized throughout the cell body, and neurites of these cells by indirect immunofluorescence studies. As neuroblastoma cells are homogenous, neuron-like, available in large quantity, and synthesize a single variant of spectrin which is closely related to brain spectrin( 240 235), it is the best available model system for the study of the synthesis, assembly and turnover of a neuronal spectrin subtype.
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