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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2010 Aug;22(4):479-87. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 May 11.

Linking molecular motors to membrane cargo.

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Department of Cell Biology, Erasmus Medical Center, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands.


Three types of motors, myosins, kinesins, and cytoplasmic dynein, cooperate to transport intracellular membrane organelles. Transport of each cargo is determined by recruitment of specific sets of motors and their regulation. Targeting of motors to membranes often depends on the formation of large multiprotein assemblies and can be influenced by membrane lipid composition. Motor activity can be regulated by cargo-induced conformational changes such as unfolding or dimerization. The architecture and function of motor: cargo complexes can also be controlled by phosphorylation, calcium signaling, and proteolysis. The complexity of transport systems is further increased by mechanical and functional cross-talk between different types of motors on the same cargo and by participation of the same motor in the movement of different organelles.

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