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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2001 Apr;11(2):174-81.

Gamma-tubulin complexes and microtubule nucleation.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94143-0448, USA.


Microtubules are dynamic cytoskeletal polymers that assemble from alpha/beta-tubulin and are vital for the establishment of cell polarity, vesicle trafficking and formation of the mitotic/meiotic spindle. gamma-Tubulin, a protein related to alpha/beta-tubulin, is required for initiating the polymerization of microtubules in vivo. gamma-Tubulin has been found in two main protein complexes: the gamma-tubulin ring complex and its subunit, the gamma-tubulin small complex. The latter is analogous to the yeast Tub4 complex. In the past year, important advances have been made in understanding the structure and function of the gamma-tubulin ring complex and how it interacts with microtubules.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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