Microtubules are key cytoskeletal elements of all eukaryotic cells and are assembled of evolutionarily conserved α-tubulin–β-tubulin heterodimers. Despite their uniform structure, microtubules fulfill a large diversity of functions. A regulatory mechanism to control the specialization of the microtubule cytoskeleton is the ‘tubulin code’, which is generated by (i) expression of different α- and β-tubulin isotypes, and by (ii) post-translational modifications of tubulin. In this Cell Science at a Glance article and the accompanying poster, we provide a comprehensive overview of the molecular components of the tubulin code, and discuss the mechanisms by which these components contribute to the generation of functionally specialized microtubules.
The authors declare no competing or financial interests.
This work has received support under the program ‘Investissements d'Avenir’ launched by the French Government and implemented by Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) (ANR-10-LBX-0038, ANR-10-IDEX-0001-02 PSL★). The work was further supported by the ANR grant ANR-12-BSV2-0007; and the Institut National Du Cancer grants INCA 2013-1-PLBIO-02-ICR-1 and 2014-PLBIO-11-ICR-1. K.N. is supported by the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (FRM) fellowship SPF20140129173.
Cell science at a glance
A high-resolution version of the poster and individual poster panels are available for downloading at http://jcs.biologists.org/lookup/doi/10.1242/jcs.199471.supplemental
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