Neck-linker length dependence of processive Kinesin-5 motility.
ABSTRACT Processive motility of individual molecules is essential for the function of many kinesin motors. Processivity for kinesins relies on communication between the two heads of a dimeric molecule, such that binding strictly alternates. The main communicating elements are believed to be the two neck linkers connecting the motors' stalks and heads. A proposed mechanism for coordination is the transmission of stress through the neck linkers. It is believed that the efficiency of gating depends on the length of the neck linker. Recent studies have presented support for a simple model in which the length of the neck linker directly controls the degree of processivity. Based on a previously published Kinesin-1/Kinesin-5 chimera, Eg5Kin, we have analyzed the motility of 12 motor constructs: we have varied the length of the neck linker in the range between 9 and 21 amino acids using the corresponding native Kinesin-5 sequence (Xenopus laevis Eg5). We found, surprisingly, that neither velocity nor force generation depended on neck-linker length. We also found that constructs with short neck linkers, down to 12 amino acids, were still highly processive, while processivity was lost at a length of 9 amino acids. Run lengths were maximal with neck linkers close to the native Kinesin-5 length and decreased beyond that length. This finding generally confirms the coordinating role of the neck linker for kinesin motility but challenges the simplest model postulating a motor-type-independent optimal length. Instead, our results suggest that different kinesins might be optimized for different neck-linker lengths.
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ABSTRACT: The molecular motor protein kinesin plays a key role in fundamental cellular processes such as intracellular transport, mitotic spindle formation, and cytokinesis, with important implications for neurodegenerative and cancer disease pathways. Recently, kinesin has been studied as a paradigm for the tailored design of nano-bio sensor and other nanoscale systems. As it processes along a microtubule within the cell, kinesin undergoes a cycle of chemical state and physical conformation transitions that enable it to take ~100 regular 8.2-nm steps before ending its processive walk. Despite an extensive body of experimental and theoretical work, a unified microscopic model of kinesin mechanochemistry does not yet exist. Here we present a methodology that optimizes a kinetic model for kinesin constructed with a minimum of a priori assumptions about the underlying processive mechanism. Kinetic models are preferred for numerical calculations since information about the kinesin stepping mechanism at all levels, from the atomic to the microscopic scale, is fully contained within the particular states of the cycle: how states transition, and the rate constants associated with each transition. We combine Markov chain calculations and simulated annealing optimization to determine the rate constants that best fit experimental data on kinesin speed and processivity.11/2014;
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ABSTRACT: The kinesin-3 family is one of the largest among the kinesin superfamily and its members play important roles in a wide range of cellular transport activities, yet the molecular mechanisms of kinesin-3 regulation and cargo transport are largely unknown. We performed a comprehensive analysis of mammalian kinesin-3 motors from three different subfamilies (KIF1, KIF13, and KIF16). Using Forster resonance energy transfer microscopy in live cells, we show for the first time to our knowledge that KIF16B motors undergo cargo-mediated dimerization. The molecular mechanisms that regulate the monomer-to-dimer transition center around the neck coil (NC) segment and its ability to undergo intramolecular interactions in the monomer state versus intermolecular interactions in the dimer state. Regulation of NC dimerization is unique to the kinesin-3 family and in the case of KIF13A and KIF13B requires the release of a proline-induced kink between the NC and subsequent coiled-coil 1 segments. We show that dimerization of kinesin-3 motors results in superprocessive motion, with average run lengths of ∼10 μm, and that this property is intrinsic to the dimeric kinesin-3 motor domain. This finding opens up studies on the mechanistic basis of motor processivity. Such high processivity has not been observed for any other motor protein and suggests that kinesin-3 motors are evolutionarily adapted to serve as the marathon runners of the cellular world.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2014; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The kinesin-3 family is one of the largest among the kinesin superfamily and an important driver of a variety of cellular transport events. While all kinesins contain the highly-conserved kinesin motor domain, different families have evolved unique motor features that enable different mechanical and functional outputs. A defining feature of kinesin-3 motors is the presence of a positively-charged insert, the K-loop, in loop 12 of their motor domains. However, the mechanical and functional output of the K-loop with respect to processive motility of dimeric kinesin-3 motors is unknown. We find that, surprisingly, the K-loop plays no role in generating the superprocessive motion of dimeric kinesin-3 motors (KIF1, KIF13 and KIF16). Rather, we find that the K-loop provides kinesin-3 motors with a high microtubule affinity in the motor's ADP-bound state, a state that for other kinesins binds only weakly to the microtubule surface. A high microtubule affinity results in a high landing rate of processive kinesin-3 motors on the microtubule surface. We propose that the family-specific K-loop contributes to efficient kinesin-3 cargo transport by enhancing the initial interaction of dimeric motors with the microtubule track.Molecular Biology of the Cell 05/2014; · 4.55 Impact Factor