The Microtubule code
Microtubule automaton simulation (from Rasmussen et al., 1990). Eight nanosecond time steps of a segment of one microtubule are shown in "classical computing" mode in which conformational states of tubulins are determined by dipole-dipole coupling between each tubulin and its six (asymmetrical) lattice neighbors. Conformational states form patterns which move, evolve, interact and lead to emergence of new patterns.
Polyglutamylation and polyglycylation are two posttranslational polymodifications that have initially been discovered on tubulin
As well as simply inserting more nodes into a two-dimensional ring, the ring topology can be extended by moving from two dimensions into three. Several identical two-dimensional rings are laid flat and stacked one on top of one another so that links can by made between corresponding nodes of adjacent layers.
Primary structure: Part of the amino acid sequence of the tubulin molecule. The amino acid sequence of a polypeptide represents the polypeptide's primary structure:
MET ARG GLU CYS ILE SER ILE HIS VAL GLY GLN ALA GLY VAL GLN ILE GLY ASN ALA CYS TRP GLU LEU TYR CYS LEU GLU HIS GLY ILE GLN PRO ASP GLY GLN MET PRO SER LYS THR ILE GLY GLY GLY ASP ASP SER PHE ASN THR PHE PHE SER GLU THR GLY ALA GLY LYS HIS VAL PRO ARG ALA VAL PHE VAL ASP LEU GLU PRO THR VAL ILE ASP GLU VAL ARG THR GLY THR TYR ARG GLN
Each three letter abbreviation represents a particular amino acid. For example VAL stands for an amino acid called valine. A tubulin molecule has 862 amino acids.
Notice The inherent Ring, Star, and Bus structures in just the following 2 amino acids. Clearly 862 such units folded into a 3D structure would allow for very complex information processing.
L-Tryptophan: A molecular Router?