Dyneins are highly complex, multicomponent, microtubule-based molecular motors. These enzymes are responsible for numerous motile behaviors in cytoplasm, mediate retrograde intraflagellar transport (IFT), and power ciliary and flagellar motility. Variants in multiple genes encoding dyneins, outer dynein arm (ODA) docking complex subunits, and cytoplasmic factors involved in axonemal dynein preassembly (DNAAFs) are associated with human ciliopathies and are of clinical interest. Therefore, clear communication within this field is particularly important. Standardizing gene nomenclature, and basing it on orthology where possible, facilitates discussion and genetic comparison across species. Here, we discuss how the human gene nomenclature for dyneins, ODA docking complex subunits, and DNAAFs has been updated to be more functionally informative and consistent with that of the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a key model organism for studying dyneins and ciliary function. We also detail additional nomenclature updates for vertebrate-specific genes that encode dynein chains and other proteins involved in dynein complex assembly.
© 2021 Braschi et al.