Microtubule motors at the intersection of trafficking and transport

Trends Cell Biol. 2006 Oct;16(10):530-7. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2006.08.002. Epub 2006 Aug 30.


Molecular motors drive the transport of vesicles and organelles within the cell. Traditionally, these transport processes have been considered separately from membrane trafficking events, such as regulated budding and fusion. However, recent progress has revealed mechanistic links that integrate these processes within the cell. Rab proteins, which function as key regulators of intracellular trafficking, have now been shown to recruit specific motors to organelle membranes. Rab-independent recruitment of motors by adaptor or scaffolding proteins is also a key mechanism. Once recruited to vesicles and organelles, these motors can then drive directed transport; this directed transport could in turn affect the efficiency of trafficking events. Here, we discuss this coordinated regulation of trafficking and transport, which provides a powerful mechanism for temporal and spatial control of cellular dynamics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / physiology
  • Golgi Apparatus / physiology
  • Humans
  • Kinesin / physiology*
  • Lysosomes / physiology
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / physiology*
  • Microtubules / physiology*


  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Kinesin