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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2002 Feb;14(1):18-24.

The oncoprotein 18/stathmin family of microtubule destabilizers.

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  • Department of Biological Sciences, 111 Research Drive, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA18015, USA. lc07@lehigh.edu


The past several years have seen major advances in our understanding of the mechanisms of microtubule destabilization by oncoprotein18/stathmin (Op18/stathmin) and related proteins. New structural information has clearly shown how members of the Op18/stathmin protein family bind tubulin dimers and suggests models for how these proteins stimulate catastrophe, the transition from microtubule growth to shortening. Regulation of Op18/stathmin by phosphorylation continues to capture much attention. Studies suggest that phosphorylation occurs in a localized fashion, resulting in decreased microtubule destabilizing activity near chromatin or microtubule polymer. A spatial gradient of inactive Op18/stathmin associated with chromatin or microtubules could contribute significantly to mitotic spindle assembly.

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