The regulatory function of the AAA4 ATPase domain of cytoplasmic dynein

Xinglei Liu, Lu Rao, Arne Gennerich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Cytoplasmic dynein is the primary motor for microtubule minus-end-directed transport and is indispensable to eukaryotic cells. Although each motor domain of dynein contains three active AAA+ ATPases (AAA1, 3, and 4), only the functions of AAA1 and 3 are known. Here, we use single-molecule fluorescence and optical tweezers studies to elucidate the role of AAA4 in dynein’s mechanochemical cycle. We demonstrate that AAA4 controls the priming stroke of the motion-generating linker, which connects the dimerizing tail of the motor to the AAA+ ring. Before ATP binds to AAA4, dynein remains incapable of generating motion. However, when AAA4 is bound to ATP, the gating of AAA1 by AAA3 prevails and dynein motion can occur. Thus, AAA1, 3, and 4 work together to regulate dynein function. Our work elucidates an essential role for AAA4 in dynein’s stepping cycle and underscores the complexity and crosstalk among the motor’s multiple AAA+ domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5952
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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