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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 2007 Feb;64(2):82-96.

Dynein light chain family in Tetrahymena thermophila.

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  • 1Department of Biology, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, California 91711-5990, USA.


Dyneins are large protein complexes that produce directed movement on microtubules. In situ, dyneins comprise combinations of heavy, intermediate, light-intermediate, and light chains. The light chains regulate the locations and activities of dyneins but their functions are not completely understood. We have searched the recently sequenced Tetrahymena thermophila macronuclear genome to describe the entire family of dynein light chains expressed in this organism. We identified fourteen genes encoding putative dynein light chains and seven genes encoding light chain-like proteins. RNA-directed PCR revealed that all 21 genes were expressed. Quantitative real time reverse transcription PCR showed that many of these genes were upregulated after deciliation, indicating that these proteins are present in cilia. Using the nomenclature developed in Chlamydomonas, Tetrahymena expresses two isoforms each of LC2, LC4, LC7, and Tctex1, three isoforms of p28, and six LC8/LC8-like isoforms. Tetrahymena also expresses two LC3-like genes. No Tetrahymena orthologue was found for Chlamydomonas LC5 or LC6. This study provides a complete description of the different genes and isoforms of the dynein light chains that are expressed in Tetrahymena, a model organism in which the targeted manipulation of genes is straightforward.

(c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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