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J Biol Chem. 2002 Sep 6;277(36):32939-46. Epub 2002 Jun 20.

The roadblock light chain binds a novel region of the cytoplasmic Dynein intermediate chain.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia 22908, USA.


Cytoplasmic dynein is the major minus-end directed microtubule-based motor in eukaryotic cells. It is composed of a number of different subunits including three light chain families: Tctex1, LC8, and roadblock. The incorporation of the roadblock light chains into the cytoplasmic dynein complex had not been determined. There are two roadblock genes in mammals, ROBL-1 and ROBL-2. We find that both members of the roadblock family bind directly to all of the intermediate chain isoforms of mammalian cytoplasmic dynein. This was determined with three complementary approaches. A yeast two-hybrid assay demonstrated that both roadblock light chains interact with intermediate chain isoforms from the IC74-1 and IC74-2 genes in vivo. This was confirmed in vitro with both a solid phase blot overlay assay and a solution-binding assay. The roadblock-binding domain on the intermediate chain was mapped to an approximately 72 residue region. The binding domain is downstream of each of the two alternative splice sites in the intermediate chains. This location is consistent with the finding that both roadblock-1 and roadblock-2 show no binding specificity for a single IC74-1 or IC74-2 intermediate chain isoform. In addition, this roadblock-binding domain is significantly downstream from both the Tctex1- and LC8-binding sites, supporting the hypothesis that multiple light chain family members can bind to the same intermediate chain.

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