Molecular motors: the driving force behind mammalian left-right development

Trends Cell Biol. 2000 Feb;10(2):41-5. doi: 10.1016/s0962-8924(99)01701-8.


The molecular motors dynein and kinesin are large protein complexes that convert the energy generated by ATP hydrolysis into directional movement along the microtubule cytoskeleton. They are required for a myriad of cellular processes, including mitotic spindle movement, axonal and vesicular transport, and ciliary beating. Recently, it has been shown that, in addition, they have a unique role during embryonic patterning: they are required to orient and establish the left-right axis in early vertebrate development.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Patterning / drug effects*
  • Body Patterning / physiology
  • Dyneins / pharmacology
  • Dyneins / physiology
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Humans
  • Kinesins / pharmacology
  • Kinesins / physiology
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / pharmacology
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / physiology*


  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Dyneins
  • Kinesins