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

Insertions of up to 17 amino acids into a region of alpha-tubulin do not disrupt function in vivo.

Microtubules in yeasts are essential components of the mitotic and meiotic spindle and are necessary for nuclear movement during cell division and mating. The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has two alpha-tubulin genes, TUB1 and TUB3, either of which alone is sufficient for these processes when present in a high enough copy number. Comparisons of sequences from several species reveals the presence of a variable region near the amino terminus of alpha-tubulin proteins. We perturbed the structure of this region in TUB3 by inserting into it 3, 9, or 17 amino acids and tested the ability of these altered proteins to function as the only alpha-tubulin protein in yeast cells. We found that each of these altered proteins was sufficient on its own for mitotic growth, mating, and methods of yeast. We conclude that this region can tolerate considerable variation without losing any of the highly conserved functions of alpha-tubulin. Our results suggest that variability in this region occurs because it can be tolerated, not because it specifies an important function for the protein.[1]


  1. Insertions of up to 17 amino acids into a region of alpha-tubulin do not disrupt function in vivo. Schatz, P.J., Georges, G.E., Solomon, F., Botstein, D. Mol. Cell. Biol. (1987) [Pubmed]
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