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Genetics. 2007 Mar;175(3):1185-96. Epub 2007 Jan 21.

Point mutations in the stem region and the fourth AAA domain of cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain partially suppress the phenotype of NUDF/LIS1 loss in Aspergillus nidulans.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences-F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, Bethesda, Maryland 20814, USA.


Cytoplasmic dynein performs multiple cellular tasks but its regulation remains unclear. The dynein heavy chain has a N-terminal stem that binds to other subunits and a C-terminal motor unit that contains six AAA (ATPase associated with cellular activities) domains and a microtubule-binding site located between AAA4 and AAA5. In Aspergillus nidulans, NUDF (a LIS1 homolog) functions in the dynein pathway, and two nudF6 partial suppressors were mapped to the nudA dynein heavy chain locus. Here we identified these two mutations. The nudAL1098F mutation resides in the stem region, and nudAR3086C is in the end of AAA4. These mutations partially suppress the phenotype of nudF deletion but do not suppress the phenotype exhibited by mutants of dynein intermediate chain and Arp1. Surprisingly, the stronger DeltanudF suppressor, nudAR3086C, causes an obvious decrease in the basal level of dynein's ATPase activity and an increase in dynein's distribution along microtubules. Thus, suppression of the DeltanudF phenotype may result from mechanisms other than simply the enhancement of dynein's ATPase activity. The fact that a mutation in the end of AAA4 negatively regulates dynein's ATPase activity but partially compensates for NUDF loss indicates the importance of the AAA4 domain in dynein regulation in vivo.

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