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Trends Cell Biol. 2012 Aug;22(8):418-28. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2012.05.005. Epub 2012 Jun 28.

+TIPs: SxIPping along microtubule ends.

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Department of Cell and Tissue Biology, University of California San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


+TIPs are a heterogeneous class of proteins that specifically bind to growing microtubule ends. Because dynamic microtubules are essential for many intracellular processes, +TIPs play important roles in regulating microtubule dynamics and microtubule interactions with other intracellular structures. End-binding proteins (EBs) recognize a structural cap at growing microtubule ends, and have emerged as central adaptors that mediate microtubule plus-end tracking of potentially all other +TIPs. The majority of these +TIPs bind to EBs through a short hydrophobic (S/T)x(I/L)P sequence motif (SxIP) and surrounding electrostatic interactions. These recent discoveries have resulted in a rapid expansion of the number of possible +TIPs. In this review, we outline our current understanding of the molecular mechanism of plus-end tracking and provide an overview of SxIP-recruited +TIPs.

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