With the emerging proteomics era the scientific community is beginning the daunting task of understanding the structures and functions of a large number of self-assembling proteins. Here, our study was concerned with the effect of the microtubule-associated-protein (MAP) tau on the assembled structure of taxol-stabilized microtubules. Significantly, the synchrotron small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) technique is able to quantitatively detect angstrom level changes in the average diameter of the microtubules modeled as a simple hollow nanotube with a fixed wall thickness. We show that the electrostatic binding of MAP tau isoforms to taxol-stabilized MTs leads to a controlled increase in the average radius of microtubules with increasing coverage of tau on the MT surface. The increase in the average diameter results from an increase in the distribution of protofilament numbers in MTs upon binding of MAP tau.