Volume 23 October 1, 2012
MBoC | MBoC 20TH ANNIVERSARY FAVORITE
An MBoC Favorite: Role of GTP hydrolysis in microtubule
dynamics: information from a slowly hydrolyzable analogue,
Chun-Ting Chen and Stephen J. Doxsey
University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, MA 01650
In celebration of MBoC’s first 20 years, members of the Editorial Board, members of the ASCB Council, and others comment on their favorite
MBoC papers from the past two decades.
Admirers of mitosis delight in viewing the dynamicity of microtubules during mitosis, so it is no surprise that the properties required for
such dynamicity—termed “dynamic instability”—has been a major research focus since the mid-20th century. To study the role of GTP in the
dynamic instability of microtubules, investigators have used different GTP analogues. In general, GTP that binds tubulin is stable in the mi-
crotubule lattice, but it becomes unstable when hydrolyzed to GDP-tubulin. Hyman et al. (1992) showed that the GTP analogue guanylyl-
(α,β)-methylene-diphosphonate (GMPCPP) was more stable than GTP and promoted polymerization, because it was hydrolyzed extremely
slowly, making it almost equivalent to a nonhydrolyzable analogue. The authors concluded that GTP hydrolysis is not important for microtu-
bule polymerization but is essential for microtubule depolymerization and, therefore, microtubule dynamics. They also noticed that GMPCPP
hydrolysis was enhanced by the surrounding GTP lattice, identifying cooperativity as another key element in dynamic instability. Since the
appearance of this article, our understanding of dynamic instability has continued to improve and evolve.
A PDF file of the paper discussed above is attached to this article.
Molecular Biology of the Cell Volume 23 Page 3775.
Address correspondence to: Stephen J. Doxsey (firstname.lastname@example.org).
© 2012 Chen and Doxsey. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available
to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0).
“ASCB®,” “The American Society for Cell Biology®,” and “Molecular Biology of the Cell®” are registered trademarks of The American Society of Cell Biology.
Hyman AA, Salser S, Drechsel DN, Unwin N, Mitchison TJ (1992). Role of GTP hydrolysis in microtubule dynamics: information from a slowly hydrolyzable
analogue, GMPCPP. Mol Biol Cell 3, 1155–1167.