FunctionTubulin is the major constituent of microtubules. It binds two moles of GTP, one at an exchangeable site on the beta chain and one at a non-exchangeable site on the alpha-chain.
Tissue specificityExpressed at a high level in fetal brain.
Involvement in diseaseDefects in TUBA1A are the cause of lissencephaly type 3 (LIS3) [MIM:611603]. LIS is characterized by a smooth brain surface due to the absence (agyria) or reduction (pachygyria) of surface convolutions. It is often associated with psychomotor retardation and seizures. LIS3 features include agyria or pachygyria or laminar heterotopia, severe mental retardation, motor delay, variable presence of seizures, and abnormalities of corpus callosum, hippocampus, cerebellar vermis and brainstem.
Sequence similaritiesBelongs to the tubulin family.
Post-translational modificationsUndergoes a tyrosination/detyrosination cycle, the cyclic removal and re-addition of a C-terminal tyrosine residue by the enzymes tubulin tyrosine carboxypeptidase (TTCP) and tubulin tyrosine ligase (TTL), respectively. Some glutamate residues at the C-terminus are polyglutamylated. This modification occurs exclusively on glutamate residues and results in polyglutamate chains on the gamma-carboxyl group. Also monoglycylated but not polyglycylated due to the absence of functional TTLL10 in human. Monoglycylation is mainly limited to tubulin incorporated into axonemes (cilia and flagella) whereas glutamylation is prevalent in neuronal cells, centrioles, axonemes, and the mitotic spindle. Both modifications can coexist on the same protein on adjacent residues, and lowering glycylation levels increases polyglutamylation, and reciprocally. The precise function of such modifications is still unclear but they regulate the assembly and dynamics of axonemal microtubules. Acetylation of alpha-tubulins at Lys-40 stabilizes microtubules and affects affinity and processivity of microtubule motors. This modification has a role in multiple cellular functions, ranging from cell motility, cell cycle progression or cell differentiation to intracellular trafficking and signaling.