Microtubules (MTs) are filamentous structures found throughout the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells. They are polymers of tubulin that are involved in maintaining the structural integrity and plasticity of cells as well as the internal structures of cilia and flagella. Microtubules are also essential in several key cellular processes such as cell division and intracellular transport.
Proteins that accumulate at the ends of growing microtubules, known as MT plus end–tracking proteins, play an important role in regulating the dynamics and organization of the organelle. The SLAIN2 gene encodes one such MT plus end–tracking protein. This protein is targeted to microtubule tips by interacting with End-Binding proteins through its C-terminal domain. It is involved in cytoplasmic microtubule organization and nucleation. Through its N-terminal domain, it binds with the polymerase ch-TOG, recruiting it to the microtubule plus ends and thus ensuring microtubule elongation.