Tubulin and Microtubule Structure

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 1998 Feb;10(1):16-22. doi: 10.1016/s0955-0674(98)80082-3.


Our knowledge of microtubule structure and its relationship to microtubule function continue to grow. Cryo-electron microscopy has given us new images of the microtubule polymerization and depolymerization processes and of the interaction of these polymers with motor proteins. We now know more about the effect of nucleotide state on the structure and dynamic instability of microtubules. The atomic model of tubulin, very recently obtained by electron crystallography, is bringing new insight into the properties of this protein and its self-assembly into microtubules, and promises to inspire new experimental efforts that should lead us to an understanding of the microtubule system at the molecular level.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Microtubules / chemistry*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Conformation
  • Tubulin / chemistry*


  • Tubulin