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Cell. 1991 May 31;65(5):825-36.

Gamma-tubulin is a highly conserved component of the centrosome.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California Medical School, San Francisco 94143.


We have cloned and characterized gamma-tubulin genes from both X. laevis and S. pombe, and partial genes from maize, diatom, and a budding yeast. The proteins encoded by these genes are very similar to each other and to the original Aspergillus protein, indicating that gamma-tubulins are an ubiquitous and highly conserved subfamily of the tubulin family. A null mutation of the S. pombe gene is lethal. gamma-tubulin is a minor protein, present at less than 1% the level of alpha- and beta-tubulin, and is limited to the centrosome. In particular, gamma-tubulin is associated with the pericentriolar material, the microtubule-nucleating material of the centrosome. gamma-Tubulin remains associated with the centrosome when microtubules are depolymerized, suggesting that it is an integral component that might play a role in microtubule organization.

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