Tubulin Modifications and Their Cellular Functions

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2008 Feb;20(1):71-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2007.11.010. Epub 2008 Jan 15.

Abstract

All microtubules are built from a basic alpha/beta-tubulin building block, yet subpopulations of microtubules can be differentially marked by a number of post-translational modifications. These modifications, conserved throughout evolution, are thought to act individually or in combination to control specific microtubule-based functions, analogous to how histone modifications regulate chromatin functions. Here we review recent studies demonstrating that tubulin modifications influence microtubule-associated proteins such as severing proteins, plus-end tracking proteins, and molecular motors. In this way, tubulin modifications play an important role in regulating microtubule properties, such as stability and structure, as well as microtubule-based functions, such as ciliary beating, cell division, and intracellular trafficking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Animals
  • Dimerization
  • Humans
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Tubulin / chemistry*
  • Tubulin / metabolism*

Substances

  • Tubulin