ID #1361

How do dyneins and kinesins return to their respective ends of the microtubule once they reach the end? To clarify my question, how does a dynein that traveled all the way to the minus end of the microtubule return to the positive end Is it through polymerization and depolymerization of the microtubule itself?

An "isolated" dynein at the minus end of a microtubule would be stuck there. If the MT depolymerized, it would fall off. If it polymerized, it would continue to the "new" end and then be in the same situation. But rarely do you encounter motor proteins just by themselves. Usually they're attached to something else, like a vesicle. When this is the case, you generally find both dyneins and kinesins, so if the vesicle needs to go the other direction, it just disengages one type of motor and engages the other.

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