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Review

The Tubulin Code in Mitosis and Cancer

by 1,2 and 1,2,3,*
1
Chromosome Instability & Dynamics Group, i3S—Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde, Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
2
Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular, Universidade do Porto, Rua Alfredo Allen 208, 4200-135 Porto, Portugal
3
Cell Division Group, Experimental Biology Unit, Department of Biomedicine, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade do Porto, Alameda Prof. Hernâni Monteiro, 4200-319 Porto, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2020, 9(11), 2356; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9112356
Received: 28 September 2020 / Revised: 20 October 2020 / Accepted: 24 October 2020 / Published: 26 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytoskeleton Dynamics during Cell Division)
The “tubulin code” combines different α/β-tubulin isotypes with several post-translational modifications (PTMs) to generate microtubule diversity in cells. During cell division, specific microtubule populations in the mitotic spindle are differentially modified, but only recently, the functional significance of the tubulin code, with particular emphasis on the role specified by tubulin PTMs, started to be elucidated. This is the case of α-tubulin detyrosination, which was shown to guide chromosomes during congression to the metaphase plate and allow the discrimination of mitotic errors, whose correction is required to prevent chromosomal instability—a hallmark of human cancers implicated in tumor evolution and metastasis. Although alterations in the expression of certain tubulin isotypes and associated PTMs have been reported in human cancers, it remains unclear whether and how the tubulin code has any functional implications for cancer cell properties. Here, we review the role of the tubulin code in chromosome segregation during mitosis and how it impacts cancer cell properties. In this context, we discuss the existence of an emerging “cancer tubulin code” and the respective implications for diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic purposes. View Full-Text
Keywords: cancer; chromosomal instability; microtubule; mitosis; tubulin code; tubulin post-translational modifications cancer; chromosomal instability; microtubule; mitosis; tubulin code; tubulin post-translational modifications
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lopes, D.; Maiato, H. The Tubulin Code in Mitosis and Cancer. Cells 2020, 9, 2356. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9112356

AMA Style

Lopes D, Maiato H. The Tubulin Code in Mitosis and Cancer. Cells. 2020; 9(11):2356. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9112356

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lopes, Danilo, and Helder Maiato. 2020. "The Tubulin Code in Mitosis and Cancer" Cells 9, no. 11: 2356. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9112356

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