Understanding Traffic Congestion on the Shifting Roadways of Cell Division

dynein motor protein
In this illustration, dynein motor proteins (colored white) move along microtubule filaments (colored yellow). Dan W. Nowakowski/N Molecular Systems, Inc.

Within every cell is a transportation system that rivals our most complex roadways and interchanges. Known collectively as the cytoskeleton, this system is used by molecular machines known as motor proteins to transport numerous types of cellular cargoes throughout the cell.

In a new study appearing in Developmental Cell, Ruensern Tan, a biochemistry, molecular, cellular and developmental biology graduate student, and Biophysics Graduate Group member Assistant Professor Richard McKenney, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, provide a new molecular model to describe the role of a motor protein called cytoplasmic dynein in restructuring the cytoskeleton for cell division.

Identifying problems in this process is vital to understanding the origin of many diseases.

Explore the dynein transport system with Richard McKenney