The orientational behavior of microtubules assembled in strong magnetic fields has been studied. It is shown that when microtubules are assembled in a magnetic field, they align with their long axis parallel to the magnetic field. The effect of several parameters known to affect the microtubule assembly are investigated with respect to their effect on the final degree of alignment. Aligned samples of hydrated microtubules suitable for low-resolution x-ray fiber diffraction experiments have been produced, and the results obtained from the fiber diffraction experiments have been compared with the magnetic birefringence experiments. Comparisons with earlier fiber diffraction work and small-angle x-ray solution scattering experiments have been made.

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Journal Biophys. J.
Bras, Wim, Diakun, G. P, Maret, G, Kramer, H, Bordas, J, & Medrano, F. J. (1998). The susceptibility of pure tubulin to high magnetic fields: A magnetic birefringence and X-ray fiber diffraction study. Biophys. J., 74, 1509–1521.