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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2000 Mar 17;1496(1):89-98.

The role of cytoplasmic dynein in the human brain developmental disease lissencephaly.

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University of Massachusetts Medical School, 377 Plantation Street, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.


Lissencephaly is a brain developmental disorder characterized by disorganization of the cortical regions resulting from defects in neuronal migration. Recent evidence has implicated the human LIS-1 gene in Miller-Dieker lissencephaly and isolated lissencephaly sequence. LIS-1 is homologous to the fungal genes NudF and PAC1, which are involved in cytoplasmic dynein mediated nuclear transport, but it is also almost identical to a subunit of PAF acetylhydrolase, an enzyme which inactivates the lipid mediator platelet activating factor. Recent evidence from our laboratory has revealed that cytoplasmic dynein coimmunoprecipitates with LIS-1 in bovine brain cytosol, supporting a role in the dynein pathway in vertebrates. Overexpression of LIS-1 interferes with cell division, with noteworthy effects on chromosome attachment to the mitotic spindle and on the interaction of astral microtubules with the cell cortex. Other aspects of dynein function, such as the organization of the Golgi apparatus, are not affected. Together, these results suggest a role for LIS-1 in cytoplasmic dynein functions involving microtubule plus-ends. Furthermore, they suggest that mutations in LIS-1 may produce a lissencephalic phenotype either by interfering with the movement of neuronal nuclei within extending processes, or by interference with the division cycle of neuronal progenitor cells in the ventricular and subventricular zones of the developing nervous system.

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