Cytoskeleton, confocal light micrograph. Tubulin, the protein that makes up microtubules, is blue. Microtubules are part of the cytoskeleton, which maintains the cell's shape, allows some cellular mobility and is involved in intracellular transport. The nucleus, which contains the cell's genetic information, is red.
THOMAS DEERINCK, NCMIR/ Science Photo Library/ Getty Images
Microtubules are fibrous, hollow rods, that function primarily to help support and shape the cell
. They also function as routes along which organelles can move. They are typically found in all eukaryotic cells and are a component of the cytoskeleton
, as well as cilia and flagella
Microtubules play a huge role in movement within a cell. They form the spindle fibers that manipulate and separate chromosomes during mitosis
. Examples of microtubule fibers that assist in cell division include polar fibers
and kinetochore fibers