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Article
Nature 378, 578 - 583 (07 December 1995); doi:10.1038/378578a0

Nucleation of microtubule assembly by a γ-tubulin-containing ring complex

Yixian Zheng*, Mei Lie Wong*, Bruce Alberts* & Tim Mitchison

*Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Department of Pharmacology, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, California 94143-0448, USA
Present address: National Academy of Sciences, 2101 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20418, USA.

The highly conserved protein γ-tubulin is required for microtubule nucleation in vivo. When viewed in the electron microscope, a highly purified γtubulin complex from Xenopus consisting of at least seven different proteins is seen to have an open ring structure. This complex acts as an active microtubulenucleating unit which can cap the minus ends of microtubules in vitro.

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