Culture of rat brain cells stained with antibody to MAP2 (green), Neurofilament NF-H (red) and DNA (blue). MAP2 is found in neuronal dendrites, while the neurofilament is found predominantly in axons. Antibodies and image courtesy of EnCor Biotechnology
Microtubule-associated protein 2 is a protein that in humans is encoded by the MAP2gene.
This gene encodes a protein that belongs to the microtubule-associated protein family. The proteins of this family are thought to be involved in microtubule assembly, which is an essential step in neuritogenesis. MAP2 serves to stabilize microtubules (MT) growth by crosslinking MT with intermediate filaments and other MTs. The products of similar genes in rat and mouse are neuron-specific cytoskeletal proteins that are enriched in dendrites, implicating a role in determining and stabilizing dendritic shape during neuron development. A number of alternatively spliced variants encoding distinct isforms have been described.
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