Tubulin post-translational modifications: encoding functions on the neuronal microtubule cytoskeleton

Trends Neurosci. 2010 Aug;33(8):362-72. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2010.05.001. Epub 2010 Jun 11.


In the past decades, a range of post-translational modifications has been discovered on tubulins, the major constituents of microtubules. Pioneering studies have described the occurrence and dynamics of these modifications and provided first insights into their potential functions in regulating the microtubule cytoskeleton. By contrast, several tubulin-modifying enzymes were only discovered in the last few years, and studies on molecular mechanisms and cellular functions of tubulin modifications are just beginning to emerge. This review highlights the roles of tubulin modifications in neurons. Recent studies are also discussed in relation to how the combinatorial use of tubulin modifications could generate a dynamic microtubule code, and how such a code might regulate basic as well as higher-order neuronal functions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytoskeleton / genetics
  • Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / genetics
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Tubulin / genetics
  • Tubulin / metabolism*


  • Tubulin