Microtubules are cytoskeletal filaments that are intrinsically polarized, with two structurally and functionally distinct ends, the plus end and the minus end. Over the last decade, numerous studies have shown that microtubule plus-end dynamics play an important role in many vital cellular processes and are controlled by numerous factors, such as microtubule plus-end-tracking proteins (+TIPs). In contrast, the cellular machinery that controls the behavior and organization of microtubule minus ends remains one of the least well-understood facets of the microtubule cytoskeleton. The recent characterization of the CAMSAP/Patronin/Nezha family members as specific 'minus-end-targeting proteins' ('-TIPs') has provided important new insights into the mechanisms governing minus-end dynamics. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on how microtubule minus ends are controlled and how minus-end regulators contribute to non-centrosomal microtubule organization and function during cell division, migration and differentiation.
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