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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Organization of microtubules in dendrites and axons is determined by a short hydrophobic zipper in microtubule-associated proteins MAP2 and tau.

Here we report that the microtubule-associated proteins MAP2 and tau share two separable functional domains. One is the microtubule-binding site which serves to nucleate microtubule assembly; the second is a short C-terminal alpha-helical sequence which can crosslink microtubules by means of a hydrophobic zipper interaction into dense stable parallel arrays characteristic of axons or dendrites. Thus, interactions between molecules of a single type are capable of drastically reorganizing microtubules and completely suppressing their dynamic properties.[1]


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