Microtubule Plus End Dynamics - Do We Know How Microtubules Grow? Cells boost microtubule growth by promoting distinct structural transitions at growing microtubule ends

Jeffrey van Haren*, Torsten Wittmann*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microtubules form a highly dynamic filament network in all eukaryotic cells. Individual microtubules grow by tubulin dimer subunit addition and frequently switch between phases of growth and shortening. These unique dynamics are powered by GTP hydrolysis and drive microtubule network remodeling, which is central to eukaryotic cell biology and morphogenesis. Yet, our knowledge of the molecular events at growing microtubule ends remains incomplete. Here, recent ultrastructural, biochemical and cell biological data are integrated to develop a realistic model of growing microtubule ends comprised of structurally distinct but biochemically overlapping zones. Proteins that recognize microtubule lattice conformations associated with specific tubulin guanosine nucleotide states may independently control major structural transitions at growing microtubule ends. A model is proposed in which tubulin dimer addition and subsequent closure of the MT wall are optimized in cells to achieve rapid physiological microtubule growth.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1800194
JournalBioEssays
Volume41
Issue number3
Early online date7 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 2019 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

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