Bicaudal D Family of Motor Adaptors: Linking Dynein Motility to Cargo Binding

Trends Cell Biol. 2016 May;26(5):327-340. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2016.01.001. Epub 2016 Jan 25.


Transport of different intracellular cargoes along cytoskeleton filaments is essential for the morphogenesis and function of a broad variety of eukaryotic cells. Intracellular transport is mediated by cytoskeletal motors including myosin, kinesin, and dynein, which are typically linked to various cargoes by adaptor proteins. Recent studies suggest that adaptor proteins can also act as essential transport cofactors, which control motor activity and coordination. Characterization of the evolutionary conserved Bicaudal D (BICD) family of dynein adaptor proteins has provided important insights into the fundamental mechanisms governing cargo trafficking. This review highlights the advances in the current understanding of how BICD adaptors regulate microtubule-based transport and how they contribute to developmental processes and human disease.

Keywords: adaptor; bicaudal; dynein; kinesin; mRNA transport; microtubule; vesicle transport.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / chemistry
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / metabolism*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Dyneins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Protein Transport
  • Structure-Activity Relationship


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Dyneins