New Insights on Cell Transport Motor Reveal a Surprise of Acceleration

Protein prompts speed as well as slowing for mechanism implicated in a range of diseases

Down at the level of individual molecules, cells are vast expanses of space. Traversing from one end of a cell to another can take an average protein several minutes. Other components clock in at hours… or even months in some cases.

In order for cells to develop and function normally, a system somewhat like railroad tracks and engines helps transport the cell's cargo and get things where they need to be.

Groups led by Samara Reck-Peterson and Andres Leschziner at the University of California San Diego have made a surprising discovery about an essential cellular engine known as "dynein," which transports cellular components on "microtubule" tracks to the right place at the right time and also plays a key role in cell division and neurodevelopment.


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