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Dynactin or Dynein activator complex is a multi-subunit protein found in eukaryotic cells that aids in bidirectional intracellular organelle transport by binding to dynein and Kinesin II and linking them to the organelles to be transported.[1][2]

Structure and mechanism of action

Dynactin consists of many subunits of which the p150Glued doublet (encoded by the DCTN1 gene) is the largest and has been found to be essential for function. [1] This structure of dynactin is highly conserved in vertebrates. There are three isoforms encoded by a single gene.[3]

Dynactin interacts with dynein directly by the binding of dynein intermediate chains with the p150 (glued homolog) doublet.[4]


Dynactin is often essential for dynein activity[1] and can be thought of as a "dynein receptor"[4] that modulates binding of dynein to cell organelles which are to be transported along microtubules.[5]

Dynactin is involved in various processes like chromosome alignment and spindle organization[5] in cell division,[6] maintaining nuclear position[7] in addition to transport of various organelles in the cytoplasm. Dynactin also links Kinesin II to organelles.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Schroer Trina A (November 2004). "Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology". 20: 759–779. doi:10.1146/annurev.cellbio.20.012103.094623.
  2. Deacon Sean W, Serpinskaya Anna S, Vaughan Patricia S, Fanarraga Monica Lopez, Vernos Isabelle, Vaughan Kevin T, Gelfand Vladimir I. "Dynactin is required for bidirectional organelle transport". The Journal of Cell Biology. 160 (3): 297–301. doi:10.1083/jcb.200210066.
  3. Gill SR, Schroer TA, Szilak I, Steuer ER, Sheetz MP, Cleveland DW. "Dynactin, a conserved, ubiquitously expressed component of an activator of vesicle motility mediated by cytoplasmic dynein". The Journal of Cell Biology. 115: 1639–1650.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Vaughan KT, Vallee RB (1995). "Cytoplasmic dynein binds dynactin through a direct interaction between the intermediate chains and p150Glued". J Cell Biol. 131 (6 Pt 1): 1507–16. PMID 8522607. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Echeverri CJ, Paschal BM, Vaughan KT, Vallee RB. "Molecular characterization of the 50-kD subunit of dynactin reveals function for the complex in chromosome alignment and spindle organization during mitosis". J Cell Biol. 132 (4): 617–33. PMID 8647893. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  6. Karki S, Holzbaur EL (1999). "Cytoplasmic dynein and dynactin in cell division and intracellular transport". Curr Opin Cell Biol. 11 (1): 45–53. doi:10.1016/S0955-0674(99)80006-4. PMID 10047518. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)
  7. Whited JL, Cassell A, Brouillette M, Garrity PA (2004). "Dynactin is required to maintain nuclear position within postmitotic Drosophila photoreceptor neurons". Development. 131 (19): 4677–86. doi:10.1242/dev.01366. PMID 15329347. Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)

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