Kinesin-5 is a microtubule polymerase

Yalei Chen, William O. Hancock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Kinesin-5 slides antiparallel microtubules during spindle assembly, and regulates the branching of growing axons. Besides the mechanical activities enabled by its tetrameric configuration, the specific motor properties of kinesin-5 that underlie its cellular function remain unclear. Here by engineering a stable kinesin-5 dimer and reconstituting microtubule dynamics in vitro, we demonstrate that kinesin-5 promotes microtubule polymerization by increasing the growth rate and decreasing the catastrophe frequency. Strikingly, microtubules growing in the presence of kinesin-5 have curved plus ends, suggesting that the motor stabilizes growing protofilaments. Single-molecule fluorescence experiments reveal that kinesin-5 remains bound to the plus ends of static microtubules for 7 s, and tracks growing microtubule plus ends in a manner dependent on its processivity. We propose that kinesin-5 pauses at microtubule plus ends and enhances polymerization by stabilizing longitudinal tubulin-tubulin interactions, and that these activities underlie the ability kinesin-5 to slide and stabilize microtubule bundles in cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8160
JournalNature communications
Volume6
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 6 2015

Fingerprint

Kinesin
chutes
Microtubules
polymerization
axons
spindles
bundles
assembly
dimers
engineering
fluorescence
Tubulin
configurations
cells
Polymerization
molecules
interactions
Dimers
Axons
Fluorescence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

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Kinesin-5 is a microtubule polymerase. / Chen, Yalei; Hancock, William O.

In: Nature communications, Vol. 6, 8160, 06.10.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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