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5 Functions of Microtubules (Full Article)

Microtubules are cylindrical organelles composed of the protein tubulin et al, 2017). Called microtubules because they are hollow tubes in the form of fine threads with a diameter of 25 nm and a length of 200 nm – 25 m. Microtubules are one of the constituents of the cytoskeleton (Issoegianti et al et al, 2012; Rochmah et al, 2009). Following are the functions of microtubules:

Microtubule function
Microtubule structure. Image by Thomas Splettstoesser ( with translated captions.

1. Maintain Cell Shape

Microtubules are like legs so that they can function as a cell framework that plays a role in maintaining cell shape et al2017).

2. Supports Cell Movement

Microtubules play a role in supporting cell motility by being the main structure in flagella and cilia (Rochmah et al2009).

3. As a Pathway for Movement of Organelles and Vesicles

Microtubules serve as pathways for movement of organelles and vesicles within the cell. An example is in the transport of vesicles along the axons of nerve cells (neurons). One of the proteins that move vesicles in microtubules is kinesin (Rosana, 2008).

4. Play a role in cell division

Microtubules form a mitotic coil that helps the movement of chromosomes when cell division occurs (Rosana, 2008; Rohmatika .). et al2017).

5. Arrange the Centrioles

The centriole is a cylindrical structure consisting of nine groups, each of which consists of three microtubules arranged parallel to each other and bonded to form a circle (Wahyuni, tt). The function of centrioles is for cell division (Rumanta, 2009).

Read also:


  • Issoegianti, RSM; Rahman, Abdul; Rohmah, Zuliyanti. 2012. Cell Biology: Basic Concepts of Cells. Jakarta: Open University.
  • Rochmah, Siti Nur; Widayati, Sri; Arif P., Meirina. 2009. Biology: SMA and MA Class XI. Jakarta: Book Center, Ministry of National Education.
  • Rohmatica, Listi; Isna, Fersty. 2017. General Biology Practicum Report Cell Shape and Structure. Jember: University of Jember.
  • Rosana, Dadan. 2008. Biophysics: Structure and Function of Proteins. Jakarta: Open University.
  • Rumanta, Mama. 2009. Animal Physiology: Introduction to Animal Physiology. Jakarta: Open University.
  • Wahyuni, Fitra. yy. Teaching Materials (Hand Out) Reproductive Biology. Without city and publisher.

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