Bicaudal D induces selective dynein-mediated microtubule minus end-directed transport

Casper C Hoogenraad, Phebe Wulf, Natalia Schiefermeier, Tatiana Stepanova, Niels Galjart, J Victor Small, Frank Grosveld, Chris I de Zeeuw, Anna Akhmanova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Bicaudal D is an evolutionarily conserved protein, which is involved in dynein-mediated motility both in Drosophila and in mammals. Here we report that the N-terminal portion of human Bicaudal D2 (BICD2) is capable of inducing microtubule minus end-directed movement independently of the molecular context. This characteristic offers a new tool to exploit the relocalization of different cellular components by using appropriate targeting motifs. Here, we use the BICD2 N-terminal domain as a chimera with mitochondria and peroxisome-anchoring sequences to demonstrate the rapid dynein-mediated transport of selected organelles. Surprisingly, unlike other cytoplasmic dynein-mediated processes, this transport shows very low sensitivity to overexpression of the dynactin subunit dynamitin. The dynein-recruiting activity of the BICD2 N-terminal domain is reduced within the full-length molecule, indicating that the C-terminal part of the protein might regulate the interaction between BICD2 and the motor complex. Our findings provide a novel model system for dissection of the molecular mechanism of dynein motility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6004-15
Number of pages12
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2003


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Dyneins
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Microtubule-Organizing Center
  • Microtubules
  • Mitochondria
  • Peroxisomes
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins


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