Historical Background

  • Pierre Dustin


Although a correct understanding of the structure and function of MT cannot be reached until several chapters later, it may be useful for the reader to start with the following definition: “Microtubules are proteinaceous organelles, present in nearly all eucaryotic cells, made of subunits assembled into elongated tubular structures, with an average exterior diameter of 24 nm and an indefinite length, capable of rapid changes of length by assembly or disassembly of their subunit protein molecules or tubulins, sensitive to cold, high hydrostatic pressures and some specific chemicals such as colchicine and vinblastine, building, with other proteins, complex assemblies like mitotic spindle, centrioles, cilia and flagella, axonemes, neurotubules, and intervening in cell shape and cell motility”.


High Hydrostatic Pressure Historical Background Spindle Fiber Mitotic Apparatus Cytoplasmic Microtubule 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pierre Dustin
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoires d’Anatomie Pathologique et de Microscopie ElectroniqueUniversité Libre de BruxellesBruxellesBelgium

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