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Publication Detail
Force generation by dynamic microtubule polymers
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Grishchuk EL, McIntosh JR, Molodtsov MI, Ataullakhanov FI
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    93, 117
  • Volume:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Status:
  • Book title:
    Comprehensive Biophysics
This chapter reviews experimental and theoretical studies of force generation by the polymerization and depolymerization of tubulin polymers (i.e., microtubules). Microtubules display unique dynamics as a result of changes in subunit structure during assembly and disassembly. Tubulin polymerization can push on impeding objects in a manner which is quite well understood. Microtubules are also intrinsically unstable, so the energy released during their disassembly can, in principle, produce work, and, indeed, shortening microtubules are able to pull on objects which are appropriately attached. Although two different mechanisms of depolymerization-driven motility have now been well defined, the details of how shortening microtubule ends remain coupled to their cargo are only beginning to emerge. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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