Gerald Stubbs
Last active: 2/15/2016

Microtubule structure at 18 A resolution.

Beese L, Stubbs G, Cohen C
J Mol Biol. 1987 194 (2): 257-64

PMID: 3612805 · DOI:10.1016/0022-2836(87)90373-1

A model for the structure of microtubules at a resolution of 18 A (1 A = 0.1 nm) is described, based on X-ray fiber diffraction data from hydrated reassembled calf brain microtubules. The model was derived by an iterative solvent flattening refinement procedure, with initial phases based on those determined by electron microscopy. The major microtubule surface grooves are those defining the protofilaments, which form a hollow cylinder of maximum diameter 300 A. Strong electron density fluctuations in the microtubule wall are interpreted as evidence for a domain structure within the tubulin subunit. The arrangement of domains is such that the tubulin molecule could be quite flexible at the domain connections; thus, slight changes in this arrangement could account for the unusual polymorphism of tubulin assemblies.

MeSH Terms (7)

Animals Cattle Macromolecular Substances Microtubules Models, Biological Tubulin X-Ray Diffraction

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