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Asian Journal of Cell Biology


Geisel School of Medicine


The multiprotein complex, dynactin, is an integral part of the cytoplasmic dynein motor and is required for dynein-based motility in vitro and in vivo. In living cells, perturbation of the dynein–dynactin interaction profoundly blocks mitotic spindle assembly, and inhibition or depletion of dynein or dynactin from meiotic or mitotic cell extracts prevents microtubules from focusing into spindles. In interphase cells, perturbation of the dynein–dynactin complex is correlated with an inhibition of ER-to-Golgi movement and reorganization of the Golgi apparatus and the endosome–lysosome system, but the effects on microtubule organization have not previously been defined. To explore this question, we overexpressed a variety of dynactin subunits in cultured fibroblasts. Subunits implicated in dynein binding have effects on both microtubule organization and centrosome integrity. Microtubules are reorganized into unfocused arrays. The pericentriolar components, γ tubulin and dynactin, are lost from centrosomes, but pericentrin localization persists. Microtubule nucleation from centrosomes proceeds relatively normally, but microtubules become disorganized soon thereafter. Overexpression of some, but not all, dynactin subunits also affects endomembrane localization. These data indicate that dynein and dynactin play important roles in microtubule organization at centrosomes in fibroblastic cells and provide new insights into dynactin–cargo interactions.



Original Citation

Quintyne NJ, Gill SR, Eckley DM, Crego CL, Compton DA, Schroer TA. Dynactin is required for microtubule anchoring at centrosomes. J Cell Biol. 1999;147(2):321-334. doi:10.1083/jcb.147.2.321

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