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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.


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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