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Development. 2005 Aug;132(16):3743-52.

Dynein and the actin cytoskeleton control kinesin-driven cytoplasmic streaming in Drosophila oocytes.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, 1001 East 3rd Street, IN 47405, USA.


Mass movements of cytoplasm, known as cytoplasmic streaming, occur in some large eukaryotic cells. In Drosophila oocytes there are two forms of microtubule-based streaming. Slow, poorly ordered streaming occurs during stages 8-10A, while pattern formation determinants such as oskar mRNA are being localized and anchored at specific sites on the cortex. Then fast well-ordered streaming begins during stage 10B, just before nurse cell cytoplasm is dumped into the oocyte. We report that the plus-end-directed microtubule motor kinesin-1 is required for all streaming and is constitutively capable of driving fast streaming. Khc mutations that reduce the velocity of kinesin-1 transport in vitro blocked streaming yet still supported posterior localization of oskar mRNA, suggesting that streaming is not essential for the oskar localization mechanism. Inhibitory antibodies indicated that the minus-end-directed motor dynein is required to prevent premature fast streaming, suggesting that slow streaming is the product of a novel dynein-kinesin competition. As F-actin and some associated proteins are also required to prevent premature fast streaming, our observations support a model in which the actin cytoskeleton triggers the shift from slow to fast streaming by inhibiting dynein. This allows a cooperative self-amplifying loop of plus-end-directed organelle motion and parallel microtubule orientation that drives vigorous streaming currents and thorough mixing of oocyte and nurse-cell cytoplasm.

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