Structure of the dynein-2 Complex and Its Assembly With Intraflagellar Transport Trains

Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2019 Sep;26(9):823-829. doi: 10.1038/s41594-019-0286-y. Epub 2019 Aug 26.


Dynein-2 assembles with polymeric intraflagellar transport (IFT) trains to form a transport machinery that is crucial for cilia biogenesis and signaling. Here we recombinantly expressed the ~1.4-MDa human dynein-2 complex and solved its cryo-EM structure to near-atomic resolution. The two identical copies of the dynein-2 heavy chain are contorted into different conformations by a WDR60-WDR34 heterodimer and a block of two RB and six LC8 light chains. One heavy chain is steered into a zig-zag conformation, which matches the periodicity of the anterograde IFT-B train. Contacts between adjacent dyneins along the train indicate a cooperative mode of assembly. Removal of the WDR60-WDR34-light chain subcomplex renders dynein-2 monomeric and relieves autoinhibition of its motility. Our results converge on a model in which an unusual stoichiometry of non-motor subunits controls dynein-2 assembly, asymmetry, and activity, giving mechanistic insight into the interaction of dynein-2 with IFT trains and the origin of diverse functions in the dynein family.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cryoelectron Microscopy
  • Dyneins / metabolism*
  • Dyneins / ultrastructure*
  • Humans
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Multimerization*
  • Protein Transport


  • Dyneins