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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1995;32(2):129-32.

Multi-dynein hypothesis.

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  • Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.


Axonemal dyneins and cytoplasmic dynein have evolved separate strategies to perform their tasks. The multi-dynein hypothesis accurately describes the highly specialized axonemal isoforms; each isoform is encoded by a separate gene, is located in a precise place, produces specific forces which contribute to the overall generation of propagated bending, and is not functionally interchangeable with other isoforms. In contrast, cytoplasmic dynein, although carrying many different cargoes, appears to be one isoform. An intriguing question is to determine whether there are additional cytoplasmic dyneins, heretofore uncharacterized, which, like their axonemal counterparts, are customized to perform specific tasks.

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