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Gene Review

dhc-3  -  Protein DHC-3

Caenorhabditis elegans

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Disease relevance of dynein


High impact information on dynein


Biological context of dynein

  • Cytoplasmic dynein is localized to kinetochores during mitosis [3].
  • As neither nematodes nor higher plants have motile cilia or flagella at any stage of their life cycles, these DLC homologues presumably must function within the cytoplasm where they may represent previously unrecognized components of cytoplasmic dynein [5].
  • lis-1 is required for dynein-dependent cell division processes in C. elegans embryos [6].
  • This gene is composed of 15 exons and 14 relatively short introns, and it has significant homology to the other dynein heavy chains in the databases [7].
  • As with other dynein heavy chains that have been sequenced to date, it contains four GXXGXGK(S/T) motifs that form part of a consensus sequence for the nucleotide triphosphate-binding domains [7].

Anatomical context of dynein

  • Thus, we propose that the class DHC1b cytoplasmic dynein, CHE-3, is specifically responsible for the retrograde transport of the anterograde motor, kinesin-II, and its cargo within sensory cilia, but not within dendrites [8].
  • Therefore, cytoplasmic dynein is required for multiple aspects of MTOC positioning in the one cell stage C. elegans embryo [9].
  • The M(r) = 8,000 and 11,000 outer arm dynein light chains from Chlamydomonas flagella have cytoplasmic homologues [5].
  • This isoform of dynein shows temporally and spatially restricted expression in ciliated sensory neurons, and mutants show progressive developmental defects of the chemosensory cilia [10].
  • IFT has been defined as the mechanism by which protein raft components (also called IFT particles) are displaced between the flagellum and the plasma membrane in the anterograde direction by kinesin-II and in the retrograde direction by cytoplasmic dynein 1b [11].

Associations of dynein with chemical compounds


Physical interactions of dynein

  • NudC forms a biochemical complex with components of the dynein/dynactin complex and is suggested to play a role in translocation of nuclei in proliferating neuronal progenitors as well as in migrating neurons in culture [13].

Other interactions of dynein

  • In let-99 one-cell embryos, the nuclear-centrosome complex exhibits a hyperactive oscillation that is dynein dependent, instead of the normal anteriorly directed migration and rotation of the nuclear-centrosome complex [14].
  • These forces, which appear to be mediated by dynein and dynactin, produce changes in the shape and orientation of mitotic spindles [4].
  • To test the hypothesis that the minus end-directed microtubule motor protein, cytoplasmic dynein, drives this retrograde transport pathway, we visualized movement of kinesin-II and its cargo along dendrites and cilia in a che-3 cytoplasmic dynein mutant background, and observed an inhibition of retrograde transport in cilia but not in dendrites [8].
  • Many cargoes link to dynein via interactions between dynactin and vesicle-associated spectrin [15].
  • We have investigated the role of cytoplasmic dynein in microtubule organizing center (MTOC) positioning using RNA-mediated interference (RNAi) in Caenorhabditis elegans to deplete the product of the dynein heavy chain gene dhc-1 [9].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of dynein


  1. Cytoplasmic dynein light intermediate chain is required for discrete aspects of mitosis in Caenorhabditis elegans. Yoder, J.H., Han, M. Mol. Biol. Cell (2001) [Pubmed]
  2. Identification of a microtubule-based cytoplasmic motor in the nematode C. elegans. Lye, R.J., Porter, M.E., Scholey, J.M., McIntosh, J.R. Cell (1987) [Pubmed]
  3. Cytoplasmic dynein is localized to kinetochores during mitosis. Pfarr, C.M., Coue, M., Grissom, P.M., Hays, T.S., Porter, M.E., McIntosh, J.R. Nature (1990) [Pubmed]
  4. Myosin and the PAR proteins polarize microfilament-dependent forces that shape and position mitotic spindles in Caenorhabditis elegans. Severson, A.F., Bowerman, B. J. Cell Biol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  5. The M(r) = 8,000 and 11,000 outer arm dynein light chains from Chlamydomonas flagella have cytoplasmic homologues. King, S.M., Patel-King, R.S. J. Biol. Chem. (1995) [Pubmed]
  6. lis-1 is required for dynein-dependent cell division processes in C. elegans embryos. Cockell, M.M., Baumer, K., Gönczy, P. J. Cell. Sci. (2004) [Pubmed]
  7. Genomic structure of a cytoplasmic dynein heavy chain gene from the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Lye, R.J., Wilson, R.K., Waterston, R.H. Cell Motil. Cytoskeleton (1995) [Pubmed]
  8. Role of a class DHC1b dynein in retrograde transport of IFT motors and IFT raft particles along cilia, but not dendrites, in chemosensory neurons of living Caenorhabditis elegans. Signor, D., Wedaman, K.P., Orozco, J.T., Dwyer, N.D., Bargmann, C.I., Rose, L.S., Scholey, J.M. J. Cell Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  9. Cytoplasmic dynein is required for distinct aspects of MTOC positioning, including centrosome separation, in the one cell stage Caenorhabditis elegans embryo. Gönczy, P., Pichler, S., Kirkham, M., Hyman, A.A. J. Cell Biol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  10. CHE-3, a cytosolic dynein heavy chain, is required for sensory cilia structure and function in Caenorhabditis elegans. Wicks, S.R., de Vries, C.J., van Luenen, H.G., Plasterk, R.H. Dev. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  11. Intramanchette transport (IMT): managing the making of the spermatid head, centrosome, and tail. Kierszenbaum, A.L. Mol. Reprod. Dev. (2002) [Pubmed]
  12. A novel dynein light intermediate chain colocalizes with the retrograde motor for intraflagellar transport at sites of axoneme assembly in chlamydomonas and Mammalian cells. Perrone, C.A., Tritschler, D., Taulman, P., Bower, R., Yoder, B.K., Porter, M.E. Mol. Biol. Cell (2003) [Pubmed]
  13. Role for NudC, a dynein-associated nuclear movement protein, in mitosis and cytokinesis. Aumais, J.P., Williams, S.N., Luo, W., Nishino, M., Caldwell, K.A., Caldwell, G.A., Lin, S.H., Yu-Lee, L.Y. J. Cell. Sci. (2003) [Pubmed]
  14. LET-99 determines spindle position and is asymmetrically enriched in response to PAR polarity cues in C. elegans embryos. Tsou, M.F., Hayashi, A., DeBella, L.R., McGrath, G., Rose, L.S. Development (2002) [Pubmed]
  15. Mutations in Caenorhabditis elegans cytoplasmic dynein components reveal specificity of neuronal retrograde cargo. Koushika, S.P., Schaefer, A.M., Vincent, R., Willis, J.H., Bowerman, B., Nonet, M.L. J. Neurosci. (2004) [Pubmed]
  16. Evolutionarily conserved nuclear migration genes required for early embryonic development in Caenorhabditis elegans. Dawe, A.L., Caldwell, K.A., Harris, P.M., Morris, N.R., Caldwell, G.A. Dev. Genes Evol. (2001) [Pubmed]
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