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EMBO J. 2006 Jun 7;25(11):2275-86. Epub 2006 May 11.

A dynein loading zone for retrograde endosome motility at microtubule plus-ends.

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Max-Planck-Institut für terrestrische Mikrobiologie, Marburg, Germany.


In the fungus Ustilago maydis, early endosomes move bidirectionally along microtubules (MTs) and facilitate growth by local membrane recycling at the tip of the infectious hypha. Here, we set out to elucidate the molecular mechanism of this process. We show that endosomes travel by Kinesin-3 activity into the hyphal apex, where they reverse direction and move backwards in a dynein-dependent manner. Our data demonstrate that dynein, dynactin and Lis1 accumulate at MT plus-ends within the hyphal tip, where they provide a reservoir of inactive motors for retrograde endosome transport. Consistently, endosome traffic is abolished after depletion of the dynein activator Lis1 and in Kinesin-1 null mutants, which was due to a defect in targeting of dynein and dynactin to the apical MT plus-ends. Furthermore, biologically active GFP-dynein travels on endosomes in retrograde and not in anterograde direction. Surprisingly, a CLIP170 homologue was neither needed for dynein localization nor for endosome transport. These results suggest an apical dynein loading zone in the hyphal tip, which ensure that endosomes reach the expanding growth region before they reverse direction.

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