Solving a molecular scissors mystery

A Netherlands Cancer Institute team, co-led by Thijn Brummelkamp and Anastassis (Tassos) Perrakis, reported independently, but almost simultaneously with three more groups from all over the world, on the crystal structure ...

Molecular scissors stabilize the cell's cytoskeleton

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI in Villigen, Switzerland, have for the first time elucidated the structure of important enzymes in human cells that alter essential building blocks of the cellular cytoskeleton. ...

DNA origami to scale-up molecular motors

Researchers have successfully used DNA origami to make smooth-muscle-like contractions in large networks of molecular motor systems, a discovery which could be applied in molecular robotics.

How our cellular antennas are formed

Most of our cells contain an immobile primary cilium, an antenna used to transfer information from the surrounding environment. Some cells also have many mobile cilia that are used to generate movement. The 'skeleton' of ...

A new molecular player involved in T cell activation

When bacteria or viruses enter the body, proteins on their surfaces are recognized and processed to activate T cells, white blood cells with critical roles in fighting infections. During T-cell activation, a molecular complex ...

Visualizing 'unfurling' microtubule growth

Living cells depend absolutely on tubulin, a protein that forms hollow tube-like polymers, called microtubules, that form scaffolding for moving materials inside the cell. Tubulin-based microtubule scaffolding allows cells ...

Keeping our cells stable: A closer look at microtubules

Microtubules help to regulate cell structure. A group of Japanese researchers have used cryo-electron microscopy to shed light on how a certain protein keeps microtubules stable and regulates microtubule-based transport within ...

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Microtubule

Microtubules are a component of the cytoskeleton. These rope-like polymers of tubulin can grow as long as 25 micrometers and are highly dynamic. The outer diameter of microtubule is about 25 nm. Microtubules are important for maintaining cell structure, providing platforms for intracellular transport, forming the spindle during mitosis, as well as other cellular processes. There are many proteins that bind to the microtubule, including motor proteins such as kinesin and dynein, severing proteins like katanin, and other proteins important for regulating microtubule dynamics.

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