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Neurofilament disguise, destruction and discipline



NEUROFILAMENTS 100 Å in diameter appear in electron micrographs to be major constituents of most nerve cells, but their function is not clear and their shapes vary1. In thin sections of brain they appear relatively thick and knobby1; whereas in negative stain, squid neurofilaments appear smooth and cylindrical2,3. Only neurofilaments from the squid giant axon3 and from calf brain4,5 have been isolated in quantities sufficient for analysis, but these differ in their solubility properties and subunit molecular weights. These inharmonius observations are partially clarified by the transformations reported here of neurofilaments from a new and nearly ideal source, the giant axon of a marine worm, Myxicola infundibulum.

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