Research ArticleMolecular Motors

The structure of the dynactin complex and its interaction with dynein

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Science  12 Feb 2015:
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa4080

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Dynactin is an essential cofactor for the microtubule motor cytoplasmic dynein-1. We report the structure of the 23 subunit dynactin complex by cryo-electron microscopy to 4.0 Å. Our reconstruction reveals how dynactin is built around a filament containing eight copies of the actin related protein Arp1 and one of β-actin. Capped at each end by distinct protein complexes, the length of the filament is defined by elongated peptides that emerge from the α-helical shoulder domain. A further 8.2 Å structure of the complex between dynein, dynactin and the motility inducing cargo adaptor Bicaudal-D2 shows how the translational symmetry of the dynein tail matches that of the dynactin filament. The Bicaudal-D2 coiled coil runs between dynein and dynactin to stabilize the mutually dependent interactions between all three components.

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