The sensing, integrating, and coordinating features of the eukaryotic cells are achieved by the complex ultrastructural arrays and multifarious functions of the cytoskeleton, including the microtubule network. Microtubules play crucial roles achieved by their decoration with proteins/enzymes as well as by posttranslational modifications. This review focuses on the Tubulin Polymerization Promoting Protein (TPPP/p25), a new microtubule associated protein, on its “regulatory functions by day and pathological functions at night”. Physiologically, the moonlighting TPPP/p25 modulates the dynamics and stability of the microtubule network by bundling microtubules and enhancing the tubulin acetylation due to the inhibition of tubulin deacetylases. The optimal endogenous TPPP/p25 level is crucial for its physiological functions, to the differentiation of oligodendrocytes, which are the major constituents of the myelin sheath. Pathologically, TPPP/p25 forms toxic oligomers/aggregates with α-synuclein in neurons and oligodendrocytes in Parkinson’s disease and Multiple System Atrophy, respectively; and their complex is a potential therapeutic drug target. TPPP/p25-derived microtubule hyperacetylation counteracts uncontrolled cell division. All these issues reveal the anti-mitotic and α-synuclein aggregation-promoting potency of TPPP/p25, consistent with the finding that Parkinson’s disease patients have reduced risk for certain cancers.
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