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Trends Cell Biol. 2002 Jan;12(1):21-7.

Motor-cargo interactions: the key to transport specificity.

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  • 1Dept of Cell and Structural Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 61801, USA.


Eukaryotic cells organize their cytoplasm by moving different organelles and macromolecular complexes along microtubules and actin filaments. These movements are powered by numerous motor proteins that must recognize their respective cargoes in order to function. Recently, several proteins that interact with motors have been identified by yeast two-hybrid and biochemical analyses, and their roles in transport are now being elucidated. In several cases, analysis of the binding partners helped to identify new transport pathways, new types of cargo, and transport regulated at the level of motor-cargo binding. We discuss here how different motors of the kinesin, dynein and myosin families recognize their cargo and how motor-cargo interactions are regulated.

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