UMMS Affiliation

Division of Cell Biology and Imaging, Department of Radiology; Program in Molecular Medicine; Witman Lab

Publication Date


Document Type



Cell Biology | Molecular Genetics


Dyneins are highly complex, multicomponent, microtubule-based molecular motors. These enzymes are responsible for numerous motile behaviors in cytoplasm, mediate retrograde intraflagellar transport (IFT), and power ciliary and flagellar motility. Variants in multiple genes encoding dyneins, outer dynein arm (ODA) docking complex subunits, and cytoplasmic factors involved in axonemal dynein preassembly (DNAAFs) are associated with human ciliopathies and are of clinical interest. Therefore, clear communication within this field is particularly important. Standardizing gene nomenclature, and basing it on orthology where possible, facilitates discussion and genetic comparison across species. Here, we discuss how the human gene nomenclature for dyneins, ODA docking complex subunits, and DNAAFs has been updated to be more functionally informative and consistent with that of the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, a key model organism for studying dyneins and ciliary function. We also detail additional nomenclature updates for vertebrate-specific genes that encode dynein chains and other proteins involved in dynein complex assembly.


Cilia, Cytoskeleton, Genetics

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© 2021 Braschi et al. This article is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution 4.0 International, as described at

DOI of Published Version



Braschi B, Omran H, Witman GB, Pazour GJ, Pfister KK, Bruford EA, King SM. Consensus nomenclature for dyneins and associated assembly factors. J Cell Biol. 2022 Feb 7;221(2):e202109014. doi: 10.1083/jcb.202109014. Epub 2022 Jan 10. PMID: 35006274; PMCID: PMC8754002. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of cell biology

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PubMed ID


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.