Mechanisms for maintaining microtubule bundles. Academic Article uri icon


  • The dynamics of microtubules (MTs) are crucial to many of their functions. Certain MT structures, such as the mitotic spindle apparatus, exhibit high MT turnover yet maintain their mass stably through long periods of time. Here, we highlight what are emerging as two important mechanisms for maintaining MT bundles: the first, MT nucleation from pre-existing MTs by means of gamma-tubulin-containing complexes; and the second, MT 'rescue' by the stabilizing protein CLASP. As examples, we describe recent advances in understanding the assembly and maintenance of simple MT bundles in fission yeast and plant cells, which have implications for the bundles of the animal mitotic spindle.

publication date

  • December 2008