structures found within cellss
. They are generally long and form a structural network (the cytoskeleton
) within the cell's cytoplasm
, but in addition to structural support microtubules are used in many other processes as well. They form a substrate on which other cellular chemicals can interact, they are used in intracellular transport, and are involved in cell motility. The assembly and disassembly of microtubules into their subcomponent tubulin is one way in which cells can change their shape. A notable structure involving microtubules is the mitotic spindle
used by eukaryotic
cells to segregate their chromosomes correctly during cell division. Microtubules are also responsible for the flagella
of eukaryotic cellss
flagella are entirely different).
Roger Penrose has proposed that the hollow cores of microtubules inside neurons form an environment capable of supporting quantum-scale information processing and conscious awareness. There is no evidence to support this proposition at this time, and it is not widely accepted.
See also: Taxol