Characterization of gamma-tubulin filaments in mammalian cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Overexpression of γ-tubulin leads to the formation of filaments, but nothing is known about such filaments with regard to possible presence in cells, structure and probable dynamics. Here, we used mammalian cell lines to investigate the ability of γ-tubulin to form filaments. We found that γ-tubulin produces fibers called γ-tubules in a GTP-dependent manner and that γ-tubules are made up of pericentrin and the γ-tubulin complex proteins 2, 3, 5 and 6. Furthermore, we noted that the number of cells with cytosolic γ-tubules is increased in non-dividing cells. Our experiments showed that γ-tubules are polar structures that have a low regrowth rate compared to microtubules. Also, we observed that γ-tubules were disassembled by treatment with cold, colcemid, citral dimethyl acetal, dimethyl fumarate or mutation of γ-tubulin GTPase domain, but were increased in number by treatment with taxol or by stable expression of the γ-tubulin1–333 GTPase domain. Our results demonstrate that γ-tubulin forms filaments, and such assembly is facilitated by the GTPase domain of γ-tubulin.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell and Molecular Biology


  • Filaments, γ-Tubulin, γ-Tubulin ring complex
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-171
Number of pages14
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch