Dynein motor contributes to stress granule dynamics in primary neurons

N. P. Tsai, Y. C. Tsui, L. N. Wei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

60 Scopus citations


Mobilization and translation of mRNAs, two important events believed to involve stress granules (SGs), in neurons are important for their survival and activities. However, the formation and disassembly of SGs in neurons remains unclear. By using an arsenite-induced neuronal stress model of rat primary spinal cord neuron cultures, we demonstrate the formation of SGs that contain common SG components and RNAs in both stressed neuronal cell bodies and their neurites. By employing small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown, we discovered that dynein motor subunit localizes in SG, and is important for SG assembly in neurons. Under stress, dynein motor subunit also facilitates translational repression and enhances the formation and integrity of SG in neurons. By blocking the energy source of dynein motor, both the formation and disassembly of SG are attenuated. These findings demonstrate, for the first time, that dynein motor complex plays a critical role in the dynamics of neuronal SGs, as well as translation of certain mRNAs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-656
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - 17 03 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • dynein
  • mRNA
  • neurites
  • primary neurons
  • stress granules
  • translation


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