||Microtubules of the eukaryotic cytoskeleton perform essential and diverse functions and are composed of a heterodimer of alpha and beta tubulins. The genes encoding these microtubule constituents belong to the tubulin superfamily, which is composed of six distinct families. Genes from the alpha, beta and gamma tubulin families are found in all eukaryotes. The alpha and beta tubulins represent the major components of microtubules, while gamma tubulin plays a critical role in the nucleation of microtubule assembly. There are multiple alpha and beta tubulin genes, which are highly conserved among species. TUBA1A encodes alpha tubulin and is highly similar to the mouse and rat Tuba1 genes. Northern blotting studies have shown that TUBA1A expression is predominantly found in morphologically differentiated neurologic cells. TUBA1A is one of three alpha-tubulin genes in a cluster on chromosome 12q. Mutations in TUBA1A cause lissencephaly type 3 (LIS3) - a neurological condition characterized by microcephaly, mental retardation, and early-onset epilepsy and caused by defective neuronal migration. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms.