Kinesin-14s are microtubule-based motor proteins that play important roles in mitotic spindle assembly . Ncd-type kinesin-14s are a subset of kinesin-14 motors that exist as homodimers with an N-terminal microtubule-binding tail, a coiled-coil central stalk (central stalk), a neck, and two identical C-terminal motor domains. To date, no Ncd-type kinesin-14 has been found to naturally exhibit long-distance minus-end-directed processive motility on single microtubules as individual homodimers. Here, we show that GiKIN14a from Giardia intestinalis  is an unconventional Ncd-type kinesin-14 that uses its N-terminal microtubule-binding tail to achieve minus-end-directed processivity on single microtubules over micrometer distances as a homodimer. We further find that although truncation of the N-terminal tail greatly reduces GiKIN14a processivity, the resulting tailless construct GiKIN14a-Δtail is still a minimally processive motor and moves its center of mass via discrete 8-nm steps on the microtubule. In addition, full-length GiKIN14a has significantly higher stepping and ATP hydrolysis rates than does GiKIN14a-Δtail. Inserting a flexible polypeptide linker into the central stalk of full-length GiKIN14a nearly reduces its ATP hydrolysis rate to that of GiKIN14a-Δtail. Collectively, our results reveal that the N-terminal tail of GiKIN14a is a de facto dual regulator of motility and reinforce the notion of the central stalk as a key mechanical determinant of kinesin-14 motility .
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)