Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Rep. 2012 Jun 28;1(6):608-16.

A motor-driven mechanism for cell-length sensing.

Author information

Department of Biological Chemistry, Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100 Rehovot, Israel.


Size homeostasis is fundamental in cell biology, but it is not clear how large cells such as neurons can assess their own size or length. We examined a role for molecular motors in intracellular length sensing.Computational simulations suggest that spatial information can be encoded by the frequency of an oscillating retrograde signal arising from a composite negative feedback loop between bidirectional motor-dependent signals. The model predicts that decreasing either or both anterograde or retrograde signals should increase cell length, and this prediction was confirmed upon application of siRNAs for specific kinesin and/or dynein heavy chains in adult sensory neurons. Heterozygous dynein heavy chain 1 mutant sensory neurons also exhibited increased lengths both in vitro and during embryonic development.Moreover, similar length increases were observed in mouse embryonic fibroblasts upon partial downregulation of dynein heavy chain 1.Thus, molecular motors critically influence cell length sensing and growth control.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center