[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mitogenic and second-messenger signals that promote cell proliferation often proceed through multienzyme complexes. The kinase-anchoring protein Gravin integrates cAMP and calcium/phospholipid signals at the plasma membrane by sequestering protein kinases A and C with G protein-coupled receptors. In this report we define a role for Gravin as a temporal organizer of phosphorylation-dependent protein-protein interactions during mitosis. Mass spectrometry, molecular, and cellular approaches show that CDK1/Cyclin B1 phosphorylates Gravin on threonine 766 to prime the recruitment of the polo-like kinase Plk1 at defined phases of mitosis. Fluorescent live-cell imaging reveals that cells depleted of Gravin exhibit mitotic defects that include protracted prometaphase and misalignment of chromosomes. Moreover, a Gravin T766A phosphosite mutant that is unable to interact with Plk1 negatively impacts cell proliferation. In situ detection of phospho-T766 Gravin in biopsy sections of human glioblastomas suggests that this phosphorylation event might identify malignant neoplasms.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alignment of chromosomes at the metaphase plate is a signature of cell division in metazoan cells, yet the mechanisms controlling this process remain ambiguous. Here we use a combination of quantitative live-cell imaging and reconstituted dynamic microtubule assays to investigate the molecular control of mitotic centromere movements. We establish that Kif18A (kinesin-8) attenuates centromere movement by directly promoting microtubule pausing in a concentration-dependent manner. This activity provides the dominant mechanism for restricting centromere movement to the spindle midzone. Furthermore, polar ejection forces spatially confine chromosomes via position-dependent regulation of kinetochore tension and centromere switch rates. We demonstrate that polar ejection forces are antagonistically modulated by chromokinesins. These pushing forces depend on Kid (kinesin-10) activity and are antagonized by Kif4A (kinesin-4), which functions to directly suppress microtubule growth. These data support a model in which Kif18A and polar ejection forces synergistically promote centromere alignment via spatial control of kinetochore-microtubule dynamics.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK) is a microtubule-depolymerizing kinesin-13 member that can track with polymerizing microtubule tips (hereafter referred to as tip tracking) during both interphase and mitosis. MCAK tracks with microtubule tips by binding to end-binding proteins (EBs) through the microtubule tip localization signal SKIP, which lies N terminal to MCAK's neck and motor domain. The functional significance of MCAK's tip-tracking behavior during mitosis has never been explained. In this paper, we identify and define a mitotic function specific to the microtubule tip-associated population of MCAK: negative regulation of microtubule length within the assembling bipolar spindle. This function depends on MCAK's ability to bind EBs and track with polymerizing nonkinetochore microtubule tips. Although this activity antagonizes centrosome separation during bipolarization, it ultimately benefits the dividing cell by promoting robust kinetochore attachments to the spindle microtubules.
The Journal of Cell Biology 04/2012; 197(2):231-7. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The inability to faithfully segregate chromosomes in mitosis results in chromosome instability, a hallmark of solid tumors. Disruption of microtubule dynamics contributes highly to mitotic chromosome instability. The kinesin-13 family is critical in the regulation of microtubule dynamics and the best characterized member of the family, the mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK), has recently been attracting enormous attention. MCAK regulates microtubule dynamics as a potent depolymerizer of microtubules by removing tubulin subunits from the polymer end. This depolymerizing activity plays pivotal roles in spindle formation, in correcting erroneous attachments of microtubule-kinetochore and in chromosome movement. Thus, the accurate regulation of MCAK is important for ensuring the faithful segregation of chromosomes in mitosis and for safeguarding chromosome stability. In this review we summarize recent data concerning the regulation of MCAK by mitotic kinases, Aurora A/B, Polo-like kinase 1 and cyclin-dependent kinase 1. We propose a molecular model of the regulation of MCAK by these mitotic kinases and relevant phosphatases throughout mitosis. An ever-increasing quantity of data indicates that MCAK is aberrantly regulated in cancer cells. This deregulation is linked to increased malignance, invasiveness, metastasis and drug resistance, most probably due to increased chromosomal instability and remodeling of the microtubule cytoskeleton in cancer cells. Most interestingly, recent observations suggest that MCAK could be a novel molecular target for cancer therapy, as a new cancer antigen or as a mitotic regulator. This collection of new data indicates that MCAK could be a new star in the cancer research sky due to its critical roles in the control of genome stability and the cytoskeleton. Further investigations are required to dissect the fine details of the regulation of MCAK throughout mitosis and its involvements in oncogenesis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cell movement requires the coordinated reception, integration, and processing of intracellular signals. We have discovered that the protein kinase A anchoring protein AKAP220 interacts with the cytoskeletal scaffolding protein IQGAP1 to influence cell motility. AKAP220/IQGAP1 networks receive and integrate calcium and cAMP second messenger signals and position signaling enzymes near their intended substrates at leading edges of migrating cells. IQGAP1 supports calcium/calmodulin-dependent association of factors that modulate microtubule dynamics. AKAP220 suppresses GSK-3β and positions this kinase to allow recruitment of the plus-end microtubule tracking protein CLASP2. Gene silencing of AKAP220 alters the rate of microtubule polymerization and the lateral tracking of growing microtubules and retards cell migration in metastatic human cancer cells. This reveals an unappreciated role for this anchored kinase/microtubule effector protein network in the propagation of cell motility.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2011; 286(45):39269-81. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metaphase chromosome positioning depends on Kif18A, a kinesin-8 that accumulates at and suppresses the dynamics of K-MT plus ends. By engineering Kif18A mutants that suppress MT dynamics but fail to concentrate at K-MT plus ends, we identify a mechanism that allows Kif18A to accumulate at K-MT plus ends to a level required to suppress chromosome movements. Enrichment of Kif18A at K-MT plus ends depends on its C-terminal tail domain, while the ability of Kif18A to suppress MT growth is conferred by the N-terminal motor domain. The Kif18A tail contains a second MT-binding domain that diffuses along the MT lattice, suggesting that it tethers the motor to the MT track. Consistently, the tail enhances Kif18A processivity and is crucial for it to accumulate at K-MT plus ends. The heightened processivity of Kif18A, conferred by its tail domain, thus promotes concentration of Kif18A at K-MT plus ends, where it suppresses their dynamics to control chromosome movements.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Mps1 family of protein kinases contributes to cell cycle control by regulating multiple microtubule cytoskeleton activities. We have uncovered a new Mps1 substrate that provides a novel link between Mps1 and the actin cytoskeleton. We have identified a conserved human Mps1 (hMps1) interacting protein we have termed Mps1 interacting protein-1 (Mip1). Mip1 defines an uncharacterized family of conserved proteins that contain coiled-coil and calponin homology domains. We demonstrate that Mip1 is a phosphoprotein that interacts with hMps1 in vitro and in vivo and is a hMps1 substrate. Mip1 exhibits dynamic localization during the cell cycle; Mip1 localizes to the actin cytoskeleton during interphase, the spindle in early mitosis, and the cleavage furrow during cytokinesis. Mip1 function is required to ensure proper spindle positioning at the onset of anaphase after cells begin furrow ingression. Cells depleted of Mip1 exhibit aberrant mitotic actin filament organization, excessive membrane blebbing, dramatic spindle rocking, and chromosome distribution errors during early cytokinesis producing high numbers of binucleate cells. Our data indicate that Mip1 is a newly recognized component of the actin cytoskeleton that interacts with hMps1 and that it is essential to ensure proper segregation of the genome during cell cleavage.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The kinesin-13 family member mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK) is a potent microtubule depolymerase. Paradoxically, in cells it accumulates at the growing, rather than the shortening, microtubule plus ends. This plus-end tracking behavior requires the interaction between MCAK and members of the end-binding protein (EB) family, but the effect of EBs on the microtubule-destabilizing activity of MCAK and the functional significance of MCAK accumulation at the growing microtubule tips have so far remained elusive. Here, we dissect the functional interplay between MCAK and EB3 by reconstituting EB3-dependent MCAK activity on dynamic microtubules in vitro. Whereas MCAK alone efficiently blocks microtubule assembly, the addition of EB3 restores robust microtubule growth, an effect that is not dependent on the binding of MCAK to EB3. At the same time, EB3 targets MCAK to growing microtubule ends by increasing its association rate with microtubule tips, a process that requires direct interaction between the two proteins. This EB3-dependent microtubule plus-end accumulation does not affect the velocity of microtubule growth or shortening but enhances the capacity of MCAK to induce catastrophes. The combination of MCAK and EB3 thus promotes rapid switching between microtubule growth and shortening, which can be important for remodeling of the microtubule cytoskeleton.
Current biology: CB 10/2010; 20(19):1717-22. · 10.99 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Astral microtubules (MTs) are known to be important for cleavage furrow induction and spindle positioning, and loss of astral MTs has been reported to increase cortical contractility. To investigate the effect of excess astral MT activity, we depleted the MT depolymerizer mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK) from HeLa cells to produce ultra-long, astral MTs during mitosis. MCAK depletion promoted dramatic spindle rocking in early anaphase, wherein the entire mitotic spindle oscillated along the spindle axis from one proto-daughter cell to the other, driven by oscillations of cortical nonmuscle myosin II. The effect was phenocopied by taxol treatment. Live imaging revealed that cortical actin partially vacates the polar cortex in favor of the equatorial cortex during anaphase. We propose that this renders the polar actin cortex vulnerable to rupture during normal contractile activity and that long astral MTs enlarge the blebs. Excessively large blebs displace mitotic spindle position by cytoplasmic flow, triggering the oscillations as the blebs resolve.
The Journal of Cell Biology 07/2010; 190(1):35-43. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The coupling of kinetochores to dynamic spindle microtubules is crucial for chromosome positioning and segregation, error correction, and cell cycle progression. How these fundamental attachments are made and persist under tensile forces from the spindle remain important questions. As microtubule-binding elements, the budding yeast Ndc80 and Dam1 kinetochore complexes are essential and not redundant, but their distinct contributions are unknown. In this study, we show that the Dam1 complex is a processivity factor for the Ndc80 complex, enhancing the ability of the Ndc80 complex to form load-bearing attachments to and track with dynamic microtubule tips in vitro. Moreover, the interaction between the Ndc80 and Dam1 complexes is abolished when the Dam1 complex is phosphorylated by the yeast aurora B kinase Ipl1. This provides evidence for a mechanism by which aurora B resets aberrant kinetochore-microtubule attachments. We propose that the action of the Dam1 complex as a processivity factor in kinetochore-microtubule attachment is regulated by conserved signals for error correction.
The Journal of Cell Biology 05/2010; 189(4):713-23. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kinesins are enzymes that use the energy of ATP to perform mechanical work. There are approximately 14 families of kinesins within the kinesin superfamily. Family classification is derived primarily from alignments of the sequences of the core motor domain. For this reason, the enzymatic behavior and motility of each motor generally reflects its family. At the cellular level, kinesin motors perform a variety of functions during cell division and within the mitotic spindle to ensure that chromosomes are segregated with the highest fidelity possible. The cellular functions of these motors are intimately related to their mechanical and enzymatic properties at the single molecule level. For this reason, motility studies designed to evaluate the activity of purified molecular motors are a requirement in order to understand, mechanistically, how these motors make the mitotic spindle work and what can cause the spindle to fail. This review will focus on a selection of illustrative kinesins, which have been studied at the molecular level in order to inform our understanding of their function in cells. In addition, the review will endeavor to point out some kinesins that have been studied extensively but which still lack sufficient molecular underpinnings to fully predict their contribution to spindle function.
Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology 05/2010; 21(3):260-8. · 6.20 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kinetochores are multifunctional supercomplexes that link chromosomes to dynamic microtubule tips. Groups of proteins from the kinetochore are arranged into distinct subcomplexes that copurify under stringent conditions and cause similar phenotypes when mutated. By coexpressing all the components of a given subcomplex from a polycistronic plasmid in bacteria, many laboratories have had great success in purifying active subcomplexes. This has enabled the study of how the microtubule-binding subcomplexes of the kinetochore interact with both the microtubule lattice and dynamic microtubule tips. Here we outline methods for rapid cloning of polycistronic vectors for expression of kinetochore subcomplexes, their purification, and techniques for functional analysis using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy (TIRFM).
Methods in cell biology 01/2010; 95:641-56. · 1.44 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The kinesin-13, MCAK, is a critical regulator of microtubule dynamics in eukaryotic cells. We have functionally dissected the structural features responsible for MCAK's potent microtubule depolymerization activity. MCAK's positively charged neck enhances its delivery to microtubule ends not by tethering the molecule to microtubules during diffusion, as commonly thought, but by catalyzing the association of MCAK to microtubules. On the other hand, this same positively charged neck slightly diminishes MCAK's ability to remove tubulin subunits once at the microtubule end. Conversely, dimerization reduces MCAK delivery but improves MCAK's ability to remove tubulin subunits. The reported kinetics for these events predicts a nonspecific binding mechanism that may represent a paradigm for the diffusive interaction of many microtubule-binding proteins.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kinesin-8 family members function in microtubule length control and exhibit highly processive plus-end directed motility in conjunction with microtubule dissassembly activity. In a recent issue of Cell, Varga and colleagues describe how these two activities may be used to simultaneously measure and adjust the length of cellular microtubules.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In cells, stable microtubules (MTs) are covalently modified by a carboxypeptidase, which removes the C-terminal Tyr residue of alpha-tubulin. The significance of this selective detyrosination of MTs is not understood. In this study, we report that tubulin detyrosination in fibroblasts inhibits MT disassembly. This inhibition is relieved by overexpression of the depolymerizing motor mitotic centromere-associated kinesin (MCAK). Conversely, suppression of MCAK expression prevents disassembly of normal tyrosinated MTs in fibroblasts. Detyrosination of MTs suppresses the activity of MCAK in vitro, apparently as the result of a decreased affinity of the adenosine diphosphate (ADP)-inorganic phosphate- and ADP-bound forms of MCAK for the MT lattice. Detyrosination also impairs MT disassembly in neurons and inhibits the activity of the neuronal depolymerizing motor KIF2A in vitro. These results indicate that MT depolymerizing motors are directly inhibited by the detyrosination of tubulin, resulting in the stabilization of cellular MTs. Detyrosination of transiently stabilized MTs may give rise to persistent subpopulations of disassembly-resistant polymers to sustain subcellular cytoskeletal differentiation.
The Journal of Cell Biology 07/2009; 185(7):1159-66. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kinesin motor proteins use adenosine triphosphate hydrolysis to do work on microtubules (MTs). Most kinesins walk along the MT, but class 13 kinesins instead uniquely recognize MT ends and depolymerize MT protofilaments. We have used electron microscopy (EM) to understand the molecular interactions by which kinesin 13 performs these tasks. Although a construct of only the motor domain of kinesin 13 binds to every heterodimer of a tubulin ring, a construct containing the neck and the motor domain occupies alternate binding sites. Likewise, EM maps of the dimeric full-length (FL) protein exhibit alternate site binding but reveal density for only one of two motor heads. These results indicate that the second head of dimeric kinesin 13 does not have access to adjacent binding sites on the curved protofilament and suggest that the neck alone is sufficient to obstruct access. Additionally, the FL construct promotes increased stacking of rings compared with other constructs. Together, these data suggest a model for kinesin 13 depolymerization in which increased efficiency is achieved by binding of one kinesin 13 molecule to adjacent protofilaments.
The Journal of Cell Biology 05/2009; 185(1):51-7. · 10.82 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kinetochores couple chromosomes to the assembling and disassembling tips of microtubules, a dynamic behavior that is fundamental to mitosis in all eukaryotes but poorly understood. Genetic, biochemical, and structural studies implicate the Ndc80 complex as a direct point of contact between kinetochores and microtubules, but these approaches provide only a static view. Here, using techniques for manipulating and tracking individual molecules in vitro, we demonstrate that the Ndc80 complex is capable of forming the dynamic, load-bearing attachments to assembling and disassembling tips required for coupling in vivo. We also establish that Ndc80-based coupling likely occurs through a biased diffusion mechanism and that this activity is conserved from yeast to humans. Our findings demonstrate how an ensemble of Ndc80 complexes may provide the combination of plasticity and strength that allows kinetochores to maintain load-bearing tip attachments during both microtubule assembly and disassembly.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microtubule-based motility is often thought of as specifically referring to the directed stepping of microtubule-based motors such as kinesin or dynein. However, microtubule lattice diffusion (also known as diffusional motility) provides a second mode of transport that is shared by a much broader class of microtubule binding proteins. Microtubule lattice diffusion offers distinct advantages as a transport mechanism including speed, bidirectional microtubule end targeting, and no requirement for direct chemical energy (i.e. ATP). It remains to be seen whether a universal binding mechanism for this interaction will be identified but electrostatic interactions appear to play a significant role. In the meantime, the well-studied subject of DNA binding proteins that diffuse along the DNA backbone provides an insightful analog for understanding the nature of microtubule-based diffusional motility.
Current opinion in cell biology 02/2009; 21(1):68-73. · 14.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The kinesin-13 motor protein family members drive the removal of tubulin from microtubules (MTs) to promote MT turnover. A point mutation of the kinesin-13 family member mitotic centromere-associated kinesin/Kif2C (E491A) isolates the tubulin-removal conformation of the motor, and appears distinct from all previously described kinesin-13 conformations derived from nucleotide analogues. The E491A mutant removes tubulin dimers from stabilized MTs stoichiometrically in adenosine triphosphate (ATP) but is unable to efficiently release from detached tubulin dimers to recycle catalytically. Only in adenosine diphosphate (ADP) can the mutant catalytically remove tubulin dimers from stabilized MTs because the affinity of the mutant for detached tubulin dimers in ADP is low relative to lattice-bound tubulin. Thus, the motor can regenerate for further cycles of disassembly. Using the mutant, we show that release of tubulin by kinesin-13 motors occurs at the transition state for ATP hydrolysis, which illustrates a significant divergence in their coupling to ATP turnover relative to motile kinesins.
The Journal of Cell Biology 12/2008; 183(4):617-23. · 10.82 Impact Factor