Dynamins are large GTPases that belong to a protein superfamily that, in eukaryotic cells, includes classical dynamins, dynamin-like proteins, OPA1, Mx proteins, mitofusins and guanylate-binding proteins/atlastins. They are involved in many processes including budding of transport vesicles, division of organelles, cytokinesis and pathogen resistance. With sequenced genomes from Homo sapiens, Drosophila melanogaster, Caenorhabditis elegans, yeast species and Arabidopsis thaliana, we now have a complete picture of the members of the dynamin superfamily from different organisms. Here, we review the superfamily of dynamins and their related proteins, and propose that a common mechanism leading to membrane tubulation and/or fission could encompass their many varied functions.
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