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Trends Cell Biol. 2001 May;11(5):196-202.

The dynein heavy chain: structure, mechanics and evolution.

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  • 1Dept of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, Lilly Hall, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1392, USA. dasai@bilbo.bio.purdue.edu


The translocation of dynein along microtubules is the basis for a variety of essential cellular movements. Despite a general domain organization that is found in all the cytoskeletal motors, there are structural features of dynein that set it apart from the other motors. These include a track-binding site that is located at the tip of a long projection, and six nucleotide-binding modules that together form the globular head of dynein. These unique features suggest that dynein produces movement by a mechanism that is different from that used by the other motors.

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