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Bottom-Up Mesoscale Model of Microtubule

[+] Author Affiliations
Marco A. Deriu, Franco M. Montevecchi

Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy

Søren Enemark, Emiliano Votta, Alberto Redaelli, Monica Soncini

Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy

Paper No. SBC2007-176115, pp. 345-346; 2 pages
  • ASME 2007 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • ASME 2007 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • Keystone, Colorado, USA, June 20–24, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Bioengineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4798-5
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


Microtubules (MTs) are fundamental structural elements in the cytoskeleton of all eukaryotic cells. The MTs are hollow cylinder-shaped biopolymers with inner and outer diameter of about 18 and 30 nm respectively and length ranging from 1 to 10 μm. They are constituted by αβ-tubulins arranged in protofilaments with head-to-tail motif. The protofilaments bind together laterally along the MT’s long axis with a slight shift generating a spiral with a pitch of 2, 3 or 4 monomers’ length [1]. The building-block of the MT, αβ-tubulin, is a hetero-dimer made of two globular monomers, α- and β-tubulin. α- and β-tubulin monomers consists of about 450 residues and shows a high degree of similarity from the primary to the tertiary structure level. However, one important difference is that the α-monomer binds a GTP molecule while the β-monomer binds a GDP molecule [2].

Copyright © 2007 by ASME



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