Dynein: An ancient motor protein involved in multiple modes of transport

J Neurobiol. 2004 Feb 5;58(2):189-200. doi: 10.1002/neu.10314.


Cytoplasmic dynein has long been thought to be responsible for retrograde axonal transport. As the number of cellular roles for this multifunctional protein has expanded, the complexity of its contribution to axonal transport has increased. In this article the increasing evidence for a role for cytoplasmic dynein in anterograde as well as retrograde transport is discussed. The current status of the complex dynein cargo-binding mechanism is evaluated. Finally, recent genetic evidence supporting a role in axonal transport and revealing a role in neurodegenerative conditions is reviewed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport / physiology*
  • Carrier Proteins / metabolism
  • Cytoplasm / metabolism
  • Dynactin Complex
  • Dyneins / chemistry
  • Dyneins / physiology*
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism
  • Models, Biological*
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / physiology*
  • Motor Neuron Disease
  • Protein Binding


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Dynactin Complex
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Molecular Motor Proteins
  • Dyneins