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Microtubule-Associated Proteins: Structuring the Cytoskeleton

12 Aug


Microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) were initially discovered as proteins that bind to and stabilize microtubules. Today, an ever-growing number of MAPs reveals a more complex picture of these proteins as organizers of the microtubule cytoskeleton that have a large variety of functions. MAPs enable microtubules to participate in a plethora of cellular processes such as the assembly of mitotic and meiotic spindles, neuronal development, and the formation of the ciliary axoneme. Although some subgroups of MAPs have been exhaustively characterized, a strikingly large number of MAPs remain barely characterized other than their interactions with microtubules. We provide a comprehensive view on the currently known MAPs in mammals. We discuss their molecular mechanisms and functions, as well as their physiological role and links to pathologies.