Tctex1 is a light chain found in both cytoplasmic and flagellar dyneins and is involved in many fundamental cellular activities, including rhodopsin transport within photoreceptors, and may function in the non-Mendelian transmission of t haplotypes in mice. Here, we present the NMR solution structure for the Tctex1 dimer from Chlamydomonas axonemal inner dynein arm I1. Structural comparisons reveal a strong similarity with the LC8 dynein light chain dimer, including formation of a strand-switched beta sheet interface. Analysis of the Tctex1 structure enables the dynein intermediate chain binding site to be identified and suggests a mechanism by which cargo proteins might be attached to this microtubule motor complex. Comparison with the alternate dynein light chain rp3 reveals how the specificity of dynein-cargo interactions mediated by these dynein components is achieved. In addition, this structure provides insight into the consequences of the mutations found in the t haplotype forms of this protein.
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