Structural organization of the dynein-dynactin complex bound to microtubules

Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2015 Apr;22(4):345-7. doi: 10.1038/nsmb.2996. Epub 2015 Mar 9.


Cytoplasmic dynein associates with dynactin to drive cargo movement on microtubules, but the structure of the dynein-dynactin complex is unknown. Using electron microscopy, we determined the organization of native bovine dynein, dynactin and the dynein-dynactin-microtubule quaternary complex. In the microtubule-bound complex, the dynein motor domains are positioned for processive unidirectional movement, and the cargo-binding domains of both dynein and dynactin are accessible.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cryoelectron Microscopy
  • Dynactin Complex
  • Dyneins / chemistry*
  • Dyneins / metabolism
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / chemistry*
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism
  • Microtubules / chemistry*
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Models, Molecular


  • Dynactin Complex
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Dyneins