Two activators of microtubule-based vesicle transport

Trina A. Schroer, Michael P. Sheetz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

260 Scopus citations


Cytoplasmic dynein purified by nucleotide dependent microtubule affinity has significant minus end-directed vesicle motor activity that decreases with each further purification step. Highly purified dynein causes membrane vesicles to bind but not move on microtubules. We exploited these observations to develop an assay for factors that, in combination with dynein, would permit minus end-directed vesicle motility. At each step of the purification, non-dynein fractions were recombined with dynein and assayed for vesicle motility. Two activating fractions were identified by this method. One, called Activator I, copurified with 20S dynein by velocity sedimentation but could be separated from it by ion exchange chromatography. Activator I increased only the frequency of dynein-driven vesicle movements. Activator II, sedimenting at 9S, increased both the frequency and velocity of vesicle transport and also supported plus end movements. Our results suggest that dyneinbased motility is controlled at multiple levels and provide a preliminary characterization of two regulatory factors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1309-1318
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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