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Int Rev Cytol. 2004;241:53-153.

Microtubule-associated proteins and their essential roles during mitosis.

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Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Universidade do Porto, 4150-180 Porto, Portugal.


Microtubules play essential roles during mitosis, including chromosome capture, congression, and segregation. In addition, microtubules are also required for successful cytokinesis. At the heart of these processes is the ability of microtubules to do work, a property that derives from their intrinsic dynamic behavior. However, if microtubule dynamics were not properly regulated, it is certain that microtubules alone could not accomplish any of these tasks. In vivo, the regulation of microtubule dynamics is the responsibility of microtubule-associated proteins. Among these, we can distinguish several classes according to their function: (1) promotion and stabilization of microtubule polymerization, (2) destabilization or severance of microtubules, (3) functioning as linkers between various structures, or (4) motility-related functions. Here we discuss how the various properties of microtubule-associated proteins can be used to assemble an efficient mitotic apparatus capable of ensuring the bona fide transmission of the genetic information in animal cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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