Journal of Translational Research

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Short Communication - Journal of Translational Research (2023) Volume 7, Issue 2

Microtubules: The structural and functional wonders of the cell.

Maureen O. Robinson*

Department of Diagnostic Pathology, School of Biochemistry and Immunology, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

*Corresponding Author:
Maureen O. Robinson
Department of Diagnostic Pathology
School of Biochemistry and Immunology
Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Received: 24-Feb-2023, Manuscript No. AATR-22-91126; Editor assigned: 27-Feb-2023, Pre QC No. AATR-22-91126 (PQ); Reviewed: 13-Mar-2023, QC No. AATR-22-91126; Revised: 18-Mar-2023, Manuscript No. AATR-22-91126 (R); Published: 24-Mar-2023, DOI:10.35841/aatr-7.2.137

Citation: Robinson MO. Microtubules: The structural and functional wonders of the cell. Am J Transl Res. 2023;7(2):137

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Microtubules are a type of protein filament found within the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. They are composed of tubulin, a globular protein that polymerizes to form long, cylindrical structures with a diameter of approximately 25 nanometers. Microtubules play a critical role in a variety of cellular processes, including cell division, intracellular transport, and the maintenance of cell shape and polarity. They are also a key component of cilia and flagella, the hair-like structures that enable the movement of cells and particles through fluids.

One of the most important functions of microtubules is in the process of mitosis, or cell division. During mitosis, microtubules form a complex network of fibres known as the spindle apparatus, which plays a critical role in separating the duplicated chromosomes into two identical daughter cells. Microtubules also play a critical role in intracellular transport, helping to move organelles and other cellular components along specialized pathways known as microtubule tracks. This process is facilitated by motor proteins, which move along the microtubules and transport cargo in a directional manner [1].

Beyond their structural and transport functions, microtubules also play a role in maintaining cell shape and polarity. They help to define the boundaries of the cell and organize the positioning of internal structures, such as the Golgi apparatus and endoplasmic reticulum. In addition to their importance within the cell, microtubules have also been implicated in a number of human diseases. For example, defects in the microtubule network have been linked to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease [2].

The ability of microtubules to rapidly assemble and disassemble allows cells to rapidly reorganize their internal structures in response to changing environmental conditions. For example, in response to signals from the cell surface, microtubules can rapidly reorient themselves and transport signalling molecules to different parts of the cell. The dynamic instability of microtubules is regulated by a number of factors, including microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) and motor proteins. MAPs bind to the surface of microtubules and help to stabilize them, while motor proteins use the energy of ATP hydrolysis to move along the microtubule and transport cargo [3].

In addition to their structural and functional roles within the cell, microtubules are also important targets for a number of chemotherapeutic drugs. For example, taxanes such as paclitaxel (Taxol) and docetaxel (Taxotere) bind to microtubules and stabilize them, preventing their disassembly and leading to cell death. Microtubules have also been the subject of intensive research in the field of synthetic biology, with scientists working to develop new methods for controlling the assembly and disassembly of microtubules in vitro. These efforts have the potential to lead to the development of new materials and technologies that mimic the dynamic behaviour of microtubules in living cells [4].

Overall, microtubules are a remarkable example of the complexity and functionality of the cellular machinery that enables life to exist. Their critical roles in cell division, intracellular transport, and cell shape maintenance make them an essential component of all eukaryotic cells. Their dynamic nature and ability to rapidly reorganize in response to changing conditions make them essential for a wide range of cellular processes, while their involvement in human disease and potential as therapeutic targets highlight their importance for medical research [5].


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