Microtubules play critical roles in a variety of cellular processes, such as mitosis, intracellular transport, ciliary and flagellar motility, and maintenance of cell shape. The structural subunit of microtubules, the 100 kD protein tubulin, is a heterodimer of two 50 kD subunits designated alpha and beta. Both alpha and beta occur as numerous isotypes which differ from each other in their amino acid sequences and tissue distribution. The majority of the differences among the isotypes cluster in the C-terminal, a region where the microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) bind to tubulin.
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