User:Andy Maloney/Notebook/Lab Notebook of Andy Maloney/2009/12/01/Tubulin Dimers Oligomerize before Their Incorporation into Microtubules

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Tubulin Dimers Oligomerize before Their Incorporation into Microtubules


They point out some ideas on how microtubules polymerize from the literature.

  • Tubulin dimers form protofilaments that then form MTs by folding into the tube.
  • Tubulin dimers form rings that protofilaments then polymerize to to make MTs.

For already formed MTs,

  • Tubulin dimers form oligomers that are then incorporated at the MT end.
  • Tubulin dimers are incorporated at the MT end.

They also show a nifty experiment where they were able to visualize protofilament sheets that wrap around to make the MT.

Again, I want to point out what they are calling BRB80.

  • 80 mM PIPES
  • 1 mM EGTA
  • 1 mM MgCl2

For polymerization they add

  • 2.5 µM MgCl2
  • 1 mM GTP

They don't add glycerol or DMSO when polymerizing. Interesting.


So apparently DMSO will slow the polymerization of MTs. This is interesting to me since some people will polymerize MTs in DMSO.

Steve Koch 02:45, 2 December 2009 (EST): Interestingly, this is the first PLoS paper I've seen with such an extensive critique (see the comments on the article page). It's also interesting that the comment is quite old and the authors did not respond. I have to say, it probably did affect my desire to read the paper! And thus, I'm probably not going to tonight :)


Again this paper followed the same guidelines below.

  • Intro and purpose
  • Results
  • Discussion and justification of purpose
  • Methods and materials

I'm beginning to think this is the way PLOS One wants you to write your papers.

Steve Koch 02:35, 2 December 2009 (EST): All journals I've dealt with have an "Author guidelines" section. PLoS ONE is here: (search for "organization of the manuscript"). Sorry I didn't think to tell you this earlier. (Also too bad you and Larry don't communicate more, because he went through the same process a few weeks ago. But it's a good process to go through, looking at published papers, and seeing which styles you like.)