Unravel the tubulin code: microtubule dynamics and function

All the tools you need to study microtubule dynamics and function

​​Microtubules have many amazing properties, not least of which being their dynamic behavior during the cell cycle. Regulation of microtubules involves multiple proteins and complexes; identifying the mechanisms that generate and control tubulin dynamics, and understanding how these affect microtubule function are long-standing goals in this field.

Popular assays include the use of specific antibodies in immunofluorescent imaging, and agents that modify different microtubule components. Here we provide the relevant tools to study these important microtubule processes.

Microtubule assembly




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Microtubule nucleationγ-tubulinForms part of the microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs), and facilitates tubulin dimer polymerization.γ-tubulin mouse monoclonal antibody [GTU-88]
Microtubule polymerizationα-tubulinPolymerizes with β-tubulin to form microtubules.

a-tubulin mouse monoclonal antibody [DM1A]

α-tubulin rabbit monoclonal antibody

β-tubulinPolymerizes with α-tubulin to form microtubules.

β-tubulin rabbit monoclonal antibody

β-tubulin rabbit polyclonal antibody

Microtubule depolymerizationKinesinsThe kinesin-13 class depolymerizes microtubule by bending tubulins at microtubule ends.

KIF2a rabbit polyclonal antibody

MCAK rabbit monoclonal antibody

Immunocytochemistry of formaldehyde-fixed HeLa cells stained with anti-beta tubulin antibody (ab6046). The secondary antibody (green) was ab150081 Alexa Fluor® 488 goat anti-rabbit IgG. Nuclear DNA was labeled with DAPI (shown in blue). The negative control is a secondary only assay. Click here to view the full datasheet for ab6046. 10 µl trial size available.

Regulation of microtubule dynamics





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Post-translational modifications (PTMs)AcetylationAcetylation on the K40 residue contributes to microtubule stability and cell motility. Deacetylation is linked to cell cycle progression and cancer.

Acetylated α-tubulin (acetyl K40) antibody [EPR16772]

Acetylated α-tubulin antibody [6-11B-1]

Trichostatin A

DetyrosinationInvolved in cell differentiation and microtubule stabilization.

Detyrosinated α-tubulin antibody

Human Detyrosinated α-tubulin peptide

PolyglutamylationOccurs when glutamate side chains are formed on glutamate residues. Catalyzed by tubulin tyrosine ligase like (TTLL) enzymes.

TTLL4 rabbit polyclonal antibody

TTLL6 mouse monoclonal antibody

PolyaminationContributes to microtubule stabilization. It is irreversible and acts on free tubulin as well as microtubules.ZM 449829 - Potent transglutaminase inhibitor
Microtubule associated proteins (MAPs)Microtubule latticeAssociates with microtubules and promote assembly and stabilization.

MAP4 rabbit polyclonal antibody

Tau (phospho S396) rabbit monoclonal antibody

Plus-end tracking proteins (+TIPs)+TIP recruitment results in microtubule stabilization, continued growth, and protrusion of the plus ends (migration).

EB3 rabbit monoclonal antibody

Dynamitin mouse monoclonal antibody

CLASP1 rabbit monoclonal antibody

Tubulin-binding agentsDepolymerizing agentsInhibits microtubule polymerization, block mitosis and induces cell death. Most agents bind the vinca or colchicine domain.

Vincristine sulfate



Stabilizing agentsDisrupts microtubules by promoting polymerization. This also inhibits mitosis and induces cell death.



​​​Acetylation detection: Immunocytochemistry of formaldehyde-fixed HeLa cells stained with anti-alpha tubulin (acetyl K40) antibody [EPR16772] (ab179484). Positive control - Cell treatment with trichostatin A (ab120850), a potent deacetylase inhibitor. Nuclear DNA was labeled with DAPI (shown in blue). Click here to view the full datasheet for ab179484. 10 µl trial size available.

Microtubule functions




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MotilityKinesinAided by ATP, they shuttle vesicular cargo away from the MTOC towards the plus-end of the microtubule.

Kinesin 5A/B/C rabbit polyclonal antibody

Kinesin 5A rabbit polyclonal antibody

Kinesin 5C rabbit polyclonal antibody

DyneinAided by ATP, they shuttle vesicular cargo towards the minus end of microtubules.Dynein mouse monoclonal antibody
MyosinMainly associates with actin, but also interacts with tubulin for cargo exchange.

Myosin VIIa rabbit polyclonal antibody

Non-muscle Myosin IIA rabbit monoclonal antibody

MitosisKinetochoreInteracts with microtubules to maintain the integrity of chromatid spindles.

HEC1 mouse monoclonal antibody [9G3]

Nuf2 rabbit monoclonal antibody

SPC24 rabbit monoclonal antibody

Mps1 mouse monoclonal antibody [N1] - BSA free

Cell migrationActinCrosstalk between actin and microtubules promotes symmetry break to polarize cells for division, shape changes, and migration.

CytoPainter Phalloidin-iFluor 488 Reagent

Other colors available


Actin stain

HeLa cells were stained with mouse anti-tubulin followed with a fluorescent red Goat Anti-Mouse IgG, actin filaments were stained with CytoPainter Phalloidin-iFluor 488 Reagent (ab176753), and nuclei were stained with Hoechst 33342.

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