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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2007 Feb;64(3):307-17.

Action and interactions at microtubule ends.

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CRUK Clinical Centre at Leeds, Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, St James's University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF, United Kingdom.


Microtubule dynamic instability is fundamentally important to the way cells respond to their environment and segregate their genetic material. A disparate class of proteins defined by their localisation to growing microtubule plus ends ('+TIPS') play a key role in controlling microtubule dynamics and organisation. They directly impact upon the behaviour of the microtubule tip and link this structure to interfaces that include kinetochores and the cortex of the cell. Surprisingly, some +TIPs also have important functions at the microtubule minus end. These properties contribute to the important roles played by +TIPs in processes such as mitosis and cell migration. This review examines how recent advances have impacted our understanding of +TIP function in mammalian cells, with emphasis on the emergence of the EB1 family as a core component of +TIP activities. An overview of the use of +TIP imaging as a tool for the cell biologist is also presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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