A dynein light chain is essential for the retrograde particle movement of intraflagellar transport (IFT)

J Cell Biol. 1998 May 18;141(4):979-92. doi: 10.1083/jcb.141.4.979.


Several enzymes, including cytoplasmic and flagellar outer arm dynein, share an Mr 8,000 light chain termed LC8. The function of this chain is unknown, but it is highly conserved between a wide variety of organisms. We have identified deletion alleles of the gene (fla14) encoding this protein in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. These mutants have short, immotile flagella with deficiencies in radial spokes, in the inner and outer arms, and in the beak-like projections in the B tubule of the outer doublet microtubules. Most dramatically, the space between the doublet microtubules and the flagellar membrane contains an unusually high number of rafts, the particles translocated by intraflagellar transport (IFT) (Kozminski, K.G., P.L. Beech, and J.L. Rosenbaum. 1995. J. Cell Biol. 131:1517-1527). IFT is a rapid bidirectional movement of rafts under the flagellar membrane along axonemal microtubules. Anterograde IFT is dependent on a kinesin whereas the motor for retrograde IFT is unknown. Anterograde IFT is normal in the LC8 mutants but retrograde IFT is absent; this undoubtedly accounts for the accumulation of rafts in the flagellum. This is the first mutation shown to specifically affect retrograde IFT; the fact that LC8 loss affects retrograde IFT strongly suggests that cytoplasmic dynein is the motor that drives this process. Concomitant with the accumulation of rafts, LC8 mutants accumulate proteins that are components of the 15-16S IFT complexes (Cole, D.G., D.R. Deiner, A.L. Himelblau, P.L. Beech, J.C. Fuster, and J.L. Rosenbaum. 1998. J. Cell Biol. 141:993-1008), confirming that these complexes are subunits of the rafts. Polystyrene microbeads are still translocated on the surface of the flagella of LC8 mutants, indicating that the motor for flagellar surface motility is different than the motor for retrograde IFT.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii / genetics
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii / physiology*
  • Chlamydomonas reinhardtii / ultrastructure
  • Cytoplasm / physiology
  • Dyneins / biosynthesis
  • Dyneins / metabolism*
  • Flagella / physiology*
  • Flagella / ultrastructure
  • Gene Deletion
  • Genes, Plant
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Video
  • Microtubules / physiology*
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure
  • Movement
  • Mutagenesis


  • Dyneins