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 diseaseLissencephaly 3
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 chains 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.