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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 and mechanism of a peculiar molecular end-tail of the microtubules that constitute the cell skeleton.
A cell skeleton is made of cables called microtubules. These allow a cell to maintain its shape, move to different places and transport molecules through its interior. Microtubules also play a key role in cell division.
Cancer - Paclitaxel - Cells - Microtubules - Detyrosination
The frequently used cancer therapeutic paclitaxel, aimed at cells that are dividing, specifically acts on microtubules and thereby affects their detyrosination. In addition, detyrosynation of tubulin has been implicated in cardiac dysfunction, correct segregation of chromosomes during mitosis, and mental retardation.
Microtubules are continuously modified to serve different...
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