Cooperative protofilament switching emerges from inter-motor interference in multiple-motor transport.
ABSTRACT: Within living cells, the transport of cargo is accomplished by groups of molecular motors. Such collective transport could utilize mechanisms which emerge from inter-motor interactions in ways that are yet to be fully understood. Here we combined experimental measurements of two-kinesin transport with a theoretical framework to investigate the functional ramifications of inter-motor interactions on individual motor function and collective cargo transport. In contrast to kinesin's low sidestepping frequency when present as a single motor, with exactly two kinesins per cargo, we observed substantial motion perpendicular to the microtubule. Our model captures a surface-associated mode of kinesin, which is only accessible via inter-motor interference in groups, in which kinesin diffuses along the microtubule surface and rapidly "hops" between protofilaments without dissociating from the microtubule. Critically, each kinesin transitions dynamically between the active stepping mode and this weak surface-associated mode enhancing local exploration of the microtubule surface, possibly enabling cellular cargos to overcome macromolecular crowding and to navigate obstacles along microtubule tracks without sacrificing overall travel distance.
Project description:In eukaryotic cells, membranous vesicles and organelles are transported by ensembles of motor proteins. These motors, such as kinesin-1, have been well characterized in vitro as single molecules or as ensembles rigidly attached to nonbiological substrates. However, the collective transport by membrane-anchored motors, that is, motors attached to a fluid lipid bilayer, is poorly understood. Here, we investigate the influence of motors' anchorage to a lipid bilayer on the collective transport characteristics. We reconstituted "membrane-anchored" gliding motility assays using truncated kinesin-1 motors with a streptavidin-binding peptide tag that can attach to streptavidin-loaded, supported lipid bilayers. We found that the diffusing kinesin-1 motors propelled the microtubules in the presence of ATP. Notably, we found the gliding velocity of the microtubules to be strongly dependent on the number of motors and their diffusivity in the lipid bilayer. The microtubule gliding velocity increased with increasing motor density and membrane viscosity, reaching up to the stepping velocity of single motors. This finding is in contrast to conventional gliding motility assays where the density of surface-immobilized kinesin-1 motors does not influence the microtubule velocity over a wide range. We reason that the transport efficiency of membrane-anchored motors is reduced because of their slippage in the lipid bilayer, an effect that we directly observed using single-molecule fluorescence microscopy. Our results illustrate the importance of motor-cargo coupling, which potentially provides cells with an additional means of regulating the efficiency of cargo transport.
Project description:Kinesin-based cargo transport in cells frequently involves the coordinated activity of multiple motors, including kinesins from different families that move at different speeds. However, compared to the progress at the single-molecule level, mechanisms by which multiple kinesins coordinate their activity during cargo transport are poorly understood. To understand these multimotor coordination mechanisms, defined pairs of kinesin-1 and kinesin-2 motors were assembled on DNA scaffolds and their motility examined in vitro. Although less processive than kinesin-1 at the single-molecule level, addition of kinesin-2 motors more effectively amplified cargo run lengths. By applying the law of total expectation to cargo binding durations in ADP, the kinesin-2 microtubule reattachment rate was shown to be fourfold faster than that of kinesin-1. This difference in microtubule binding rates was also observed in solution by stopped-flow. High-resolution tracking of a gold-nanoparticle-labeled motor with 1 ms and 2 nm precision revealed that kinesin-2 motors detach and rebind to the microtubule much more frequently than does kinesin-1. Finally, compared to cargo transported by two kinesin-1, cargo transported by two kinesin-2 motors more effectively navigated roadblocks on the microtubule track. These results highlight the importance of motor reattachment kinetics during multimotor transport and suggest a coordinated transport model in which kinesin-1 motors step effectively against loads whereas kinesin-2 motors rapidly unbind and rebind to the microtubule. This dynamic tethering by kinesin-2 maintains the cargo near the microtubule and enables effective navigation along crowded microtubules.
Project description:In eukaryotic cells, cargo is transported on self-organized networks of microtubule trackways by kinesin and dynein motor proteins. Synthetic microtubule networks have previously been assembled in vitro, and microtubules have been used as shuttles to carry cargoes on lithographically defined tracks consisting of surface-bound kinesin motors. Here, we show that molecular signals can be used to program both the architecture and the operation of a self-organized transport system that is based on kinesin and microtubules and spans three orders of magnitude in length scale. A single motor protein, dimeric kinesin-1, is conjugated to various DNA nanostructures to accomplish different tasks. Instructions encoded into the DNA sequences are used to direct the assembly of a polar array of microtubules and can be used to control the loading, active concentration and unloading of cargo on this track network, or to trigger the disassembly of the network.
Project description:Intracellular cargo transport frequently involves multiple motor types, either having opposite directionality or having the same directionality but different speeds. Although significant progress has been made in characterizing kinesin motors at the single-molecule level, predicting their ensemble behavior is challenging and requires tight coupling between experiments and modeling to uncover the underlying motor behavior. To understand how diverse kinesins attached to the same cargo coordinate their movement, we carried out microtubule gliding assays using pairwise mixtures of motors from the kinesin-1, -2, -3, -5, and -7 families engineered to have identical run lengths and surface attachments. Uniform motor densities were used and microtubule gliding speeds were measured for varying proportions of fast and slow motors. A coarse-grained computational model of gliding assays was developed and found to recapitulate the experiments. Simulations incorporated published force-dependent velocities and run lengths, along with mechanical interactions between motors bound to the same microtubule. The simulations show that the force-dependence of detachment is the key parameter that determines gliding speed in multimotor assays, while motor compliance, surface density, and stall force all play minimal roles. Simulations also provide estimates for force-dependent dissociation rates, suggesting that kinesin-1 and the mitotic motors kinesin-5 and -7 maintain microtubule association against loads, whereas kinesin-2 and -3 readily detach. This work uncovers unexpected motor behavior in multimotor ensembles and clarifies functional differences between kinesins that carry out distinct mechanical tasks in cells.
Project description:Cargos have been observed exhibiting a "stop-and-go" behavior (i.e. cargo "pause"), and it has generally been assumed that these multi-second pauses can be attributed to equally long pauses of cargo-bound motors during motor procession. We contend that a careful examination of the isolated microtubule experimental record does not support motor pauses. Rather, we believe that the data suggests that motor cargo complexes encounter an obstruction that prevents procession, eventually detach and reattach, with this obstructed-detach-reattach sequence being observed in axon as a "pause." Based on this, along with our quantitative evidence-based contention that slow and fast axonal transport are actually single and multi-motor transport, we have developed a cargo level motor model capable of exhibiting the full range of slow to fast transport solely by changing the number of motors involved. This computational model derived using first-order kinetics is suitable for both kinesin and dynein and includes load-dependence as well as provision for motors encountering obstacles to procession. The model makes the following specific predictions: average distance from binding to obstruction is about 10 ?m; average motor maximum velocity is at least 6 ?m/s in axon; a minimum of 10 motors is required for the fastest fast transport while only one motor is required for slow transport; individual in-vivo cargo-attached motors may spend as little as 5% of their time processing along a microtubule with the remainder being spent either obstructed or unbound to a microtubule; and at least in the case of neurofilament transport, kinesin and dynein are largely not being in a "tug-of-war" competition.
Project description:Kinesin superfamily proteins (KIFs) are molecular motors that transport cellular cargo along the microtubule cytoskeleton. KIF21B is a neuronal kinesin that is highly enriched in dendrites. The regulation and specificity of microtubule transport involves the binding of motors to individual cargo adapters and accessory proteins. Moreover, posttranslational modifications of either the motor protein, their cargos or tubulin regulate motility, cargo recognition and the binding or unloading of cargos. Here we show that the ubiquitin E3 ligase TRIM3, also known as BERP, interacts with KIF21B via its RBCC domain. TRIM3 is found at intracellular and Golgi-derived vesicles and co-localizes with the KIF21B motor in neurons. Trim3 gene deletion in mice and TRIM3 overexpression in cultured neurons both suggested that the E3-ligase function of TRIM3 is not involved in KIF21B degradation, however TRIM3 depletion reduces the motility of the motor. Together, our data suggest that TRIM3 is a regulator in the modulation of KIF21B motor function.
Project description:Disruptions in microtubule motor transport are associated with a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. Post-translational modification of the cargo-binding domain of the light and heavy chains of kinesin has been shown to regulate transport, but less is known about how modifications of the motor domain affect transport. Here we report on the effects of phosphorylation of a mammalian kinesin motor domain by the kinase JNK3 at a conserved serine residue (Ser-175 in the B isoform and Ser-176 in the A and C isoforms). Phosphorylation of this residue has been implicated in Huntington disease, but the mechanism by which Ser-175 phosphorylation affects transport is unclear. The ATPase, microtubule-binding affinity, and processivity are unchanged between a phosphomimetic S175D and a nonphosphorylatable S175A construct. However, we find that application of force differentiates between the two. Placement of negative charge at Ser-175, through phosphorylation or mutation, leads to a lower stall force and decreased velocity under a load of 1 piconewton or greater. Sedimentation velocity experiments also show that addition of a negative charge at Ser-175 favors the autoinhibited conformation of kinesin. These observations imply that when cargo is transported by both dynein and phosphorylated kinesin, a common occurrence in the cell, there may be a bias that favors motion toward the minus-end of microtubules. Such bias could be used to tune transport in healthy cells when properly regulated but contribute to a disease state when misregulated.
Project description:Long-distance transport in cells is driven by kinesin and dynein motors that move along microtubule tracks. These motors must be tightly regulated to ensure the spatial and temporal fidelity of their transport events. Transport motors of the kinesin-1 and kinesin-3 families are regulated by autoinhibition, but little is known about the mechanisms that regulate kinesin-2 motors. We show that the homodimeric kinesin-2 motor KIF17 is kept in an inactive state in the absence of cargo. Autoinhibition is caused by a folded conformation that enables nonmotor regions to directly contact and inhibit the enzymatic activity of the motor domain. We define two molecular mechanisms that contribute to autoinhibition of KIF17. First, the C-terminal tail interferes with microtubule binding; and second, a coiled-coil segment blocks processive motility. The latter is a new mechanism for regulation of kinesin motors. This work supports the model that autoinhibition is a general mechanism for regulation of kinesin motors involved in intracellular trafficking events.
Project description:The microtubule motors kinesin and dynein function collectively to drive vesicular transport. High-resolution tracking of vesicle motility in the cell indicates that transport is often bidirectional, characterized by frequent directional changes. However, the mechanisms coordinating the collective activities of oppositely oriented motors bound to the same cargo are not well understood. To examine motor coordination, we purified neuronal transport vesicles and analyzed their motility via automated particle tracking with nanometer resolution. The motility of purified vesicles reconstituted in vitro closely models the movement of LysoTracker-positive vesicles in primary neurons, where processive bidirectional motility is interrupted with frequent directional switches, diffusional movement, and pauses. Quantitative analysis indicates that vesicles copurify with a low number of stably bound motors: one to five dynein and one to four kinesin motors. These observations compare well to predictions from a stochastic tug-of-war model, where transport is driven by the force-dependent kinetics of teams of opposing motors in the absence of external regulation. Together, these observations indicate that vesicles move robustly with a small complement of tightly bound motors and suggest an efficient regulatory scheme for bidirectional motility where small changes in the number of engaged motors manifest in large changes in the motility of cargo.
Project description:Intracellular cargo is transported by multiple motor proteins. Because of the force balance of motors with mixed polarities, cargo moves bidirectionally to achieve biological functions. Here, we propose a microtubule gliding assay for a tug-of-war study of kinesin and dynein. A boundary of the two motor groups is created by photolithographically patterning gold to selectively attach kinesin to the glass and dynein to the gold surface using a self-assembled monolayer. The relationship between the ratio of two antagonistic motor numbers and the velocity is derived from a force-velocity relationship for each motor to calculate the detachment force and motor backward velocity. Although the tug-of-war involves >100 motors, values are calculated for a single molecule and reflect the collective dynein and non-collective kinesin functions when they work as a team. This assay would be useful for detailed in vitro analysis of intracellular motility, e.g., mitosis, where a large number of motors with mixed polarities are involved.