Differential effects of the dynein-regulatory factor Lissencephaly-1 on processive dynein-dynactin motility

Pedro A. Gutierrez, Bryce E. Ackermann, Michael Vershinin, Richard J. McKenney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Cytoplasmic dynein is the primary minus-end– directed microtubule motor protein in animal cells, performing a wide range of motile activities, including transport of vesicular cargos, mRNAs, viruses, and proteins. Lissencephaly-1 (LIS1) is a highly conserved dynein-regulatory factor that binds directly to the dynein motor domain, uncoupling the enzymatic and mechanical cycles of the motor and stalling dynein on the microtubule track. Dynactin, another ubiquitous dynein-regulatory factor, releases dynein from an autoinhibited state, leading to a dramatic increase in fast, processive dynein motility. How these opposing activities are integrated to control dynein motility is unknown. Here, we used fluorescence single-molecule microscopy to study the interaction of LIS1 with the processive dynein-dynactin-BicD2N (DDB) complex. Surprisingly, in contrast to the prevailing model for LIS1 function established in the context of dynein alone, we found that binding of LIS1 to DDB does not strongly disrupt processive motility. Motile DDB complexes bound up to two LIS1 dimers, and mutational analysis suggested that LIS1 binds directly to the dynein motor domains during DDB movement. Interestingly, LIS1 enhanced DDB velocity in a concentration-dependent manner, in contrast to observations of the effect of LIS1 on the motility of isolated dynein. Thus, LIS1 exerts concentration-dependent effects on dynein motility and can synergize with dynactin to enhance processive dynein movement. Our results suggest that the effect of LIS1 on dynein motility depends on both LIS1 concentration and the presence of other regulatory factors such as dynactin and may provide new insights into the mechanism of LIS1 haploinsufficiency in the neurodevelopmental disorder lissencephaly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12245-12255
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number29
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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