Microtubule-organizing centres: a re-evaluation

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2007 Feb;8(2):161-7. doi: 10.1038/nrm2100.


The number, length, distribution and polarity of microtubules are largely controlled by microtubule-organizing centres, which nucleate and anchor microtubule minus ends in a process that requires gamma-tubulin. Here we discuss recent evidence indicating that gamma-tubulin-dependent formation of new microtubules is not restricted to conventional microtubule-organizing centres. These findings suggest that the spatio-temporal control of microtubule nucleation is more complex than previously thought, leading us to a re-evaluation of the concept of the microtubule-organizing center.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Centrosome / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Microtubule-Organizing Center / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Mitosis*
  • Models, Biological
  • Spindle Apparatus / chemistry
  • Spindle Apparatus / metabolism
  • Tubulin / metabolism*
  • Tubulin / physiology


  • Tubulin