Cytoplasmic dynein is a multisubunit, microtubule-dependent mechanochemical enzyme that has been proposed to function in a variety of intracellular movements, including minus-end-directed transport of organelles. Dynein-mediated vesicle transport is stimulated in vitro by addition of the Glued/dynactin complex raising the possibility that these two complexes interact in vivo. We report here that a class of phenotypically identical mutants of the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa are defective in genes encoding subunits of either cytoplasmic dynein or the Glued/dynactin complex. These mutants, defined as ropy, have curled hyphae with abnormal nuclear distribution. ro-1 encodes the heavy chain of cytoplasmic dynein, while ro-4 encodes an actin-related protein that is a probable homologue of the actin-related protein Arpl (formerly referred to as actin-RPV or centractin), the major component of the glued/dynactin complex. The phenotypes of ro-1 and ro-4 mutants suggest that cytoplasmic dynein, as well as the Glued/dynactin complex, are required to maintain uniform nuclear distribution in fungal hyphae. We propose that cytoplasmic dynein maintains nuclear distribution through sliding of antiparallel microtubules emanating from neighboring spindle pole bodies.

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