Gamma-tubulin complexes and microtubule organization

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2007 Feb;19(1):24-30. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2006 Dec 18.


Microtubule nucleation requires gamma-tubulin, which exists in two main protein complexes: the gamma-tubulin small complex, and the gamma-tubulin ring complex. During mitosis, these complexes accumulate at the centrosome to support spindle formation. Gamma-tubulin complexes are also present at non-centrosomal microtubule nucleation sites, both in interphase and in mitosis. In interphase, non-centrosomal nucleation enables the formation of microtubule bundles or networks of branched microtubules. Gamma-tubulin complexes may be involved not only in microtubule nucleation, but also in regulating microtubule dynamics. Recent findings indicate that the dynamics of microtubule plus-ends are altered, depending on the expression of gamma-tubulin complex proteins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Cycle / physiology*
  • Centrosome / physiology*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Microtubules / physiology*
  • Tubulin / physiology*


  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • Tubulin