Coming into Focus: Mechanisms of Microtubule Minus-End Organization

Trends Cell Biol. 2018 Jul;28(7):574-588. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2018.02.011. Epub 2018 Mar 20.


Microtubule organization has a crucial role in regulating cell architecture. The geometry of microtubule arrays strongly depends on the distribution of sites responsible for microtubule nucleation and minus-end attachment. In cycling animal cells, the centrosome often represents a dominant microtubule-organizing center (MTOC). However, even in cells with a radial microtubule system, many microtubules are not anchored at the centrosome, but are instead linked to the Golgi apparatus or other structures. Non-centrosomal microtubules predominate in many types of differentiated cell and in mitotic spindles. In this review, we discuss recent advances in understanding how the organization of centrosomal and non-centrosomal microtubule networks is controlled by proteins involved in microtubule nucleation and specific factors that recognize free microtubule minus ends and regulate their localization and dynamics.

Keywords: Golgi apparatus; centrosome; microtubule-associated protein; nucleation; γ-tubulin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Centrosome / chemistry
  • Centrosome / metabolism*
  • Golgi Apparatus / chemistry
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Microtubule-Organizing Center / chemistry
  • Microtubule-Organizing Center / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / chemistry
  • Microtubules / metabolism*