Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Biol Cell. 2009 Jun;20(12):2885-99. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E08-12-1160. Epub 2009 Apr 22.

Specificity of cytoplasmic dynein subunits in discrete membrane-trafficking steps.

Author information

Cell Biology Laboratories, Department of Biochemistry, School of Medical Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS81TD, United Kingdom.


The cytoplasmic dynein motor complex is known to exist in multiple forms, but few specific functions have been assigned to individual subunits. A key limitation in the analysis of dynein in intact mammalian cells has been the reliance on gross perturbation of dynein function, e.g., inhibitory antibodies, depolymerization of the entire microtubule network, or the use of expression of dominant negative proteins that inhibit dynein indirectly. Here, we have used RNAi and automated image analysis to define roles for dynein subunits in distinct membrane-trafficking processes. Depletion of a specific subset of dynein subunits, notably LIC1 (DYNC1LI1) but not LIC2 (DYNC1LI2), recapitulates a direct block of ER export, revealing that dynein is required to maintain the steady-state composition of the Golgi, through ongoing ER-to-Golgi transport. Suppression of LIC2 but not of LIC1 results in a defect in recycling endosome distribution and cytokinesis. Biochemical analyses also define the role of each subunit in stabilization of the dynein complex; notably, suppression of DHC1 or IC2 results in concomitant loss of Tctex1. Our data demonstrate that LIC1 and LIC2 define distinct dynein complexes that function at the Golgi versus recycling endosomes, respectively, suggesting that functional populations of dynein mediate discrete intracellular trafficking pathways.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center