A unified taxonomy for ciliary dyneins

Erik F.Y. Hom, George B. Witman, Elizabeth H. Harris, Susan K. Dutcher, Ritsu Kamiya, David R. Mitchell, Gregory J. Pazour, Mary E. Porter, Winfield S. Sale, Maureen Wirschell, Toshiki Yagi, Stephen M. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


The formation and function of eukaryotic cilia/flagella require the action of a large array of dynein microtubule motor complexes. Due to genetic, biochemical, and microscopic tractability, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii has become the premier model system in which to dissect the role of dyneins in flagellar assembly, motility, and signaling. Currently, 54 proteins have been described as components of various Chlamydomonas flagellar dyneins or as factors required for their assembly in the cytoplasm and/or transport into the flagellum; orthologs of nearly all these components are present in other ciliated organisms including humans. For historical reasons, the nomenclature of these diverse dynein components and their corresponding genes, mutant alleles, and orthologs has become extraordinarily confusing. Here, we unify Chlamydomonas dynein gene nomenclature and establish a systematic classification scheme based on structural properties of the encoded proteins. Furthermore, we provide detailed tabulations of the various mutant alleles and protein aliases that have been used and explicitly define the correspondence with orthologous components in other model organisms and humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-565
Number of pages11
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Chlamydomonas
  • Cilia
  • Dynein
  • Flagella
  • Microtubule


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