Microtubules

ID #2289

I understand that depolymerization cannot occur when the (-) end is anchored in the centrosome, but there are some microtubules that will eventually leave the centrosome, right? In these cases, would depolymerization be fastest at the (-) end? The example i'm thinking of would be in axons and dendrites. Or does it also not occur there because they are capped? (is capping done on both ends?)


IF the end of a microtubule released from the centromere is not occupied, it is subject to polymerization and depolymerization based on the available concentration of tubulin. Under these conditions, polymerization would be favored at the plus end and depolymerization would be favored at the minus end, much like an actin filament. But when microtubules are released for things like constructing axons and dendrites, they are occupied at both ends to make sure they are the right size when they get there. 

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