Molecular motors and membrane traffic in Dictyostelium

Shuo Ma, Petra Fey, Rex L. Chisholm*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Phagocytosis and membrane traffic in general are largely dependent on the cytoskeleton and their associated molecular motors. The myosin family of motors, especially the unconventional myosins, interact with the actin cortex to facilitate the internalization of external materials during the early steps of phagocytosis. Members of the kinesin and dynein motor families, which mediate transport along microtubules (MTs), facilitate the intracellular processing of the internalized materials and the movement of membrane. Recent studies indicate that some unconventional myosins are also involved in membrane transport, and that the MT- and actin-dependent transport systems might interact with each other. Studies in Dictyostelium have led to the discovery of many motors involved in critical steps of phagocytosis and membrane transport. With the ease of genetic and biochemical approaches, the established functional analysis to test phagocytosis and vesicle transport, and the effort of the Dictyostelium cDNA and Genome Projects, Dictyostelium will continue to be a superb model system to study phagocytosis in particular and cytoskeleton and motors in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-244
Number of pages11
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 15 2001


  • Actin cytoskeleton
  • Dynein
  • Kinesin
  • Membrane traffic
  • Microtubule
  • Molecular motor
  • Myosin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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