Friday, April 20, 2018

Cell biology of microtubules

Microtubules are also known as filamentous polymers. Microtubules play a role in the segregation of chromosomes and molecular transport. Research has been done to examine various lengths of microtubules in response to the changes of their proteins. Microtubules are outer cylinders that secure protofilaments consisting of tubulin proteins and serve as an intercellular transport network by providing mechanical stability.

Scientist, Erwin Frey, stated that as microtubules elongate, the greater the number of motor proteins will accommodate. These motor molecules are called kinesins, which proceed along the protofilament. Kinesin proteins move toward the positive end of the microtubule, while the motor protein moves toward the negative end. When the kinesin protein reaches the end, it detaches from the filament and takes the tubulin, thus allowing another tubulin to bind to the end. In certain ranges, the growth and shrinkage of the microtubules operates as it would if resources were not limiting. However, components and resources within a cell are unlikely to be available in unlimited amounts. Therefore, there is a certain length at which the rates of growth and shrinkage balance out.

Microtubules play an essential role in the cell, for they allow for the segregation of chromosomes. Having kinesin proteins allow for the microtubule to elongate and perform its function to the cell.

For additional information, refer to the original article.

For information on microtubules and protein functions, refer to link1 and article1.

1 comment:

  1. This article is interesting because we learn about microtubules as bio majors and it is just amazing that there is always something new happening with them!!