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Trends Cell Biol. 2005 Jun;15(6):288-94.

How dynein helps the cell find its center: a servomechanical model.

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Department of Pathology & Anatomy, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, P&S 15-409, 630 W 168th St, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Cytoplasmic dynein is the major minus-end-directed microtubule motor protein in interphase cells. In addition to its well-established roles in vesicular transport and chromosome dynamics, cytoplasmic dynein also associates with the cell cortex. From this site, it appears to pull on the cytoplasmic microtubule network, influencing mitotic spindle orientation, nuclear position and other aspects of cell polarity and organization. Recent evidence indicates that the cell has the remarkable ability to calculate is geometric center, and, with the help of dynein, to position the centrosome at this central site. Here, we outline models to account for this behavior.

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