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Protein family review

The MAP1 family of microtubule-associated proteins

Shelley Halpain and Leif Dehmelt*

Author Affiliations

Department of Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute and Institute for Childhood and Neglected Diseases, 10550 North Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA

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Genome Biology 2006, 7:224  doi:10.1186/gb-2006-7-6-224

Published: 30 June 2006

Abstract

MAP1-family proteins are classical microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) that bind along the microtubule lattice. The founding members, MAP1A and MAP1B, are predominantly expressed in neurons, where they are thought to be important in the formation and development of axons and dendrites. Mammalian genomes usually contain three family members, MAP1A, MAP1B and a shorter, more recently identified gene called MAP1S. By contrast, only one family member, Futsch, is found in Drosophila. After their initial expression, the MAP1A and MAP1B polypeptides are cleaved into light and heavy chains, which are then assembled into mature complexes together with the separately encoded light chain 3 subunit (LC3). Both MAP1A and MAP1B are well known for their microtubule-stabilizing activity, but MAP1 proteins can also interact with other cellular components, including filamentous actin and signaling proteins. Furthermore, the activity of MAP1A and MAP1B is controlled by upstream signaling mechanisms, including the MAP kinase and glycogen synthase kinase-3 β pathways.