The gene for the intermediate chain subunit of cytoplasmic dynein is essential in drosophila

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The microtubule motor cytoplasmic dynein powers a variety of intracellular transport events that are essential for cellular and developmental processes. A current hypothesis is that the accessory subunits of the dynein complex are important for the specialization of cytoplasmic dynein function. In a genetic approach to understanding the range of dynein functions and the contribution of the different subunits to dynein motor function and regulation, we have identified mutations in the gene for the cytoplasmic dynein intermediate chain, Dic19C. We used a functional Dic transgene in a genetic screen to recover X-linked lethal mutations that require this transgene for viability. Three Dic mutations were identified and characterized. All three Dic alleles result in larval lethality, demonstrating that the intermediate chain serves an essential function in Drosophila. Like a deficiency that removes Dic19C, the Dic mutations dominantly enhance the rough eye phenotype of Glued1, a dominant mutation in the gene for the p150 subunit of the dynactin complex, a dynein activator. Additionally, we used complementation analysis to identify an existing mutation, shortwing (sw), as an allele of the dynein intermediate chain gene. Unlike the Dic alleles isolated de novo, shortwing is homozygous viable and exhibits recessive and temperature-sensitive defects in eye and wing development. These phenotypes are rescued by the wild-type Dic transgene, indicating that shortwing is a viable allele of the dynein intermediate chain gene and revealing a novel role for dynein function during wing development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1211-1220
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1 2002


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