What are microtubules?
Tubular polymers of tubulin can grow as long as 50 micrometres, and are highly dynamic. The outer diameter of a microtubule is about 24 nm while the inner diameter is about 12 nm. They are found in eukaryotic cells and are formed by the polymerization of a dimer of two globular proteins, alpha and beta tubulin .
Why are microtubules important?
- They are involved in maintaining the structure of the cell and they form the cytoskeleton.
- They also make up the internal structure of cilia and flagella.
- They provide platforms for intracellular transport and are involved in a variety of cellular processes.
- They are also involved in cell division.
Because the functions of microtubules are so critical to the existence of eukaryotic cells, it is important that we understand their composition, how they are assembled and disassembled.
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