Tubulin requires tau for growth onto microtubule initiating sites

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Cell Biology



Document Type



Animals; Flagella; Glycoproteins; Kinetics; Microscopy, Electron; Microtubules; Molecular Weight; Proteins; Tubulin


Tubulin purified by phosphocellulose chromatography and free of accessory proteins will not form microtubules in the absence or presence of microtubule initiating sites (flagellar microtubules). The capacity for growth onto pre-existing "seeds" can be restored by the addition of small quantities of partially purified tau protein. Larger quantities restore the capacity for spontaneous assembly. These results suggest that tubulin requires tau for both initiation and growth of microtubules and that tau is incorporated into the microtubule throughout its length.

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Citation: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1976 Nov;73(11):4070-4.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

Journal Title

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

PubMed ID