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J Neurobiol. 2004 Feb 5;58(2):189-200.

Dynein: An ancient motor protein involved in multiple modes of transport.

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Departments of Pathology and Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, 630 W. 168th Street, New York, New York 10032, USA.


Cytoplasmic dynein has long been thought to be responsible for retrograde axonal transport. As the number of cellular roles for this multifunctional protein has expanded, the complexity of its contribution to axonal transport has increased. In this article the increasing evidence for a role for cytoplasmic dynein in anterograde as well as retrograde transport is discussed. The current status of the complex dynein cargo-binding mechanism is evaluated. Finally, recent genetic evidence supporting a role in axonal transport and revealing a role in neurodegenerative conditions is reviewed.

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