Skip to main content
Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

γ-Tubulin Complexes and Fibrillar Arrays: Two Conserved High Molecular Forms with Many Cellular Functions

Chumová, Jana; Kourová, Hana; Trögelová, Lucie; Daniel, Geoffrey; Binarová, Pavla


Higher plants represent a large group of eukaryotes where centrosomes are absent. The functions of γ-tubulin small complexes (γ-TuSCs) and γ-tubulin ring complexes (γ-TuRCs) in metazoans and fungi in microtubule nucleation are well established and the majority of components found in the complexes are present in plants. However, plant microtubules are also nucleated in a γ-tubulin-dependent but γ-TuRC-independent manner. There is growing evidence that γ-tubulin is a microtubule nucleator without being complexed in γ-TuRC. Fibrillar arrays of γ-tubulin were demonstrated in plant and animal cells and the ability of γ-tubulin to assemble into linear oligomers/polymers was confirmed in vitro for both native and recombinant γ-tubulin. The functions of γ-tubulin as a template for microtubule nucleation or in promoting spontaneous nucleation is outlined. Higher plants represent an excellent model for studies on the role of γ-tubulin in nucleation due to their acentrosomal nature and high abundancy and conservation of γ-tubulin including its intrinsic ability to assemble filaments. The defining scaffolding or sequestration functions of plant γ-tubulin in microtubule organization or in nuclear processes will help our understanding of its cellular roles in eukaryotes.


microtubules; plants; gamma-tubulin; gamma-tubulin complexes; fibrillar arrays; nucleation; signaling; sequestration

Published in

2021, volume: 10, number: 4, article number: 776

Authors' information

Chumová, Jana
The Czech Academy of Sciences
Kourová, Hana
The Czech Academy of Sciences
Trögelová, Lucie
The Czech Academy of Sciences
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Biomaterials and Technology
Binarová, Pavla
The Czech Academy of Sciences

UKÄ Subject classification

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Publication Identifiers


URI (permanent link to this page)