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Microtubules are essential for many cellular functions including cell division, polarity, motility and transport of vesicles. The precise microtubule pattern deployed is critical for the normal function of these processes. A radial pattern of microtubules predominate in many cells. However, differentiation often involves a dramatic reorganisation of the microtubules leading to the formation of non-centrosomal arrays. Differentiation of epithelial cells like those of the intestine, kidney and inner ear results in apico-basal microtubules anchored at their minus-ends at apical sites associated with adherens junctions.
The aim is to identify the molecules and mechanisms involved in this reorganisation. The studies not only address basic cell biology questions but also issues of importance for advancing our understanding and treatment of cancer.