Identification of gamma-tubulin, a new member of the tubulin superfamily encoded by mipA gene of Aspergillus nidulans

Nature. 1989 Apr 20;338(6217):662-4. doi: 10.1038/338662a0.


Microtubules, which are essential for mitosis and many other cytoskeletal functions, are composed primarily of alpha- and beta-tubulin. The properties of microtubules are due, in part, to proteins other than tubulins that are part of, or interact with, microtubules and the identification and characterization of such proteins is important to understanding how microtubules function. Analyses of mutations at the mipA (microtubule interacting protein) locus of Aspergillus nidulans have suggested that the product of mipA interacts specifically, probably physically, with beta-tubulin in vivo and is involved in microtubule function. We have cloned and sequenced the wild-type mipA gene as well as complementary DNA copies of its messenger RNA. Comparisons of the predicted product of mipA with tubulins from diverse organisms reveal that mipA is a previously undiscovered member of the tubulin superfamily of genes; the only member yet discovered that does not encode alpha- or beta-tubulin. We propose that the product of mipA be called gamma-tubulin.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Aspergillus nidulans / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA / genetics
  • Genes, Fungal*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Transformation, Genetic
  • Tubulin / genetics*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tubulin
  • DNA