Gamma-tubulin complexes and microtubule nucleation

Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2001 Apr;11(2):174-81. doi: 10.1016/s0959-440x(00)00187-1.


Microtubules are dynamic cytoskeletal polymers that assemble from alpha/beta-tubulin and are vital for the establishment of cell polarity, vesicle trafficking and formation of the mitotic/meiotic spindle. gamma-Tubulin, a protein related to alpha/beta-tubulin, is required for initiating the polymerization of microtubules in vivo. gamma-Tubulin has been found in two main protein complexes: the gamma-tubulin ring complex and its subunit, the gamma-tubulin small complex. The latter is analogous to the yeast Tub4 complex. In the past year, important advances have been made in understanding the structure and function of the gamma-tubulin ring complex and how it interacts with microtubules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure*
  • Tubulin / chemistry*
  • Tubulin / metabolism*


  • Tubulin