Delta and epsilon tubulin in mammalian development

G. Gemma Stathatos, Jessica E.M. Dunleavy, Jennifer Zenker, Moira K. O'Bryan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Delta (δ-) and epsilon (ε-) tubulin are lesser-known cousins of alpha (α-) and beta (β-) tubulin. They are likely to regulate centriole function in a broad range of species; however, their in vivo role and mechanism of action in mammals remain mysterious. In unicellular species and mammalian cell lines, mutations in δ- and ε-tubulin cause centriole destabilization and atypical mitosis and, in the most severe cases, cell death. Beyond the centriole, δ- and ε-tubulin localize to the manchette during murine spermatogenesis and interact with katanin-like 2 (KATNAL2), a protein with microtubule (MT)-severing properties, indicative of novel non-centriolar functions. Herein we summarize the current knowledge surrounding δ- and ε-tubulin, identify pathways for future research, and highlight how and why spermatogenesis and embryogenesis are ideal systems to define δ- and ε-tubulin function in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)774-787
Number of pages14
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • basal body
  • centriole
  • delta tubulin
  • embryogenesis
  • epsilon tubulin
  • spermatogenesis

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