Dynamics of microtubules: Highlights of recent computational and experimental investigations

Valeri Barsegov, Jennifer L. Ross, Ruxandra I. Dima

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Microtubules are found in most eukaryotic cells, with homologs in eubacteria and archea, and they have functional roles in mitosis, cell motility, intracellular transport, and the maintenance of cell shape. Numerous efforts have been expended over the last two decades to characterize the interactions between microtubules and the wide variety of microtubule associated proteins that control their dynamic behavior in cells resulting in microtubules being assembled and disassembled where and when they are required by the cell. We present the main findings regarding microtubule polymerization and depolymerization and review recent work about the molecular motors that modulate microtubule dynamics by inducing either microtubule depolymerization or severing. We also discuss the main experimental and computational approaches used to quantify the thermodynamics and mechanics of microtubule filaments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number433003
JournalJournal of Physics Condensed Matter
Issue number43
StatePublished - Sep 21 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Depolymerizing kinesins
  • High-resolution microscopy
  • Microtubule mechanics
  • Microtubule severing enzymes
  • Molecular simulations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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