Kinesin-3 and dynein cooperate in long-range retrograde endosome motility along a nonuniform microtubule array

M. Schuster, S. Kilaru, G. Fink, J.A.R. Collemare, Y. Roger, G. Steinberg

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67 Citations (Scopus)


The polarity of microtubules (MTs) determines the motors for intracellular motility, with kinesins moving to plus ends and dynein to minus ends. In elongated cells of Ustilago maydis, dynein is thought to move early endosomes (EEs) toward the septum (retrograde), whereas kinesin-3 transports them to the growing cell tip (anterograde). Occasionally, EEs run up to 90 mu m in one direction. The underlying MT array consists of unipolar MTs at both cell ends and antipolar bundles in the middle region of the cell. Cytoplasmic MT-organizing centers, labeled with gamma-tubulin ring complex protein, are distributed along the antipolar MTs but are absent from the unipolar regions. Dynein colocalizes with EEs for 10-20 mu m after they have left the cell tip. Inactivation of temperature-sensitive dynein abolishes EE motility within the unipolar MT array, whereas long-range motility is not impaired. In contrast, kinesin-3 is continuously present, and its inactivation stops long-range EE motility. This indicates that both motors participate in EE motility, with dynein transporting the organelles through the unipolar MT array near the cell ends, and kinesin-3 taking over at the beginning of the medial antipolar MT array. The cooperation of both motors mediates EE movements over the length of the entire cell.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3645-3657
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • fungus ustilago-maydis
  • tug-of-war
  • lipid-droplet transport
  • cytoplasmic dynein
  • molecular motors
  • intracellular-transport
  • vesicle transport
  • cargo transport
  • caenorhabditis-elegans
  • polarity orientation


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