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Kinesin-1 motors can circumvent permanent roadblocks by side-shifting to neighboring protofilaments.


ABSTRACT: Obstacles on the surface of microtubules can lead to defective cargo transport, proposed to play a role in neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's. However, little is known about how motor proteins, which follow individual microtubule protofilaments (such as kinesin-1), deal with obstacles on the molecular level. Here, we used rigor-binding mutants of kinesin-1 as roadblocks to permanently obstruct individual microtubule binding sites and studied the movement of individual kinesin-1 motors by single-molecule fluorescence and dark-field scattering microscopy in vitro. In the presence of roadblocks, kinesin-1 often stopped for ? 0.4 s before either detaching or continuing to move, whereby the latter circumvention events occurred in >30% after a stopping event. Consequently, and in agreement with numerical simulations, the mean velocity, mean run length, and mean dwell time of the kinesin-1 motors decreased upon increasing the roadblock density. Tracking individual kinesin-1 motors labeled by 40 nm gold particles with 6 nm spatial and 1 ms temporal precision revealed that ? 70% of the circumvention events were associated with significant transverse shifts perpendicular to the axis of the microtubule. These side-shifts, which occurred with equal likelihood to the left and right, were accompanied by a range of longitudinal shifts suggesting that roadblock circumvention involves the unbinding and rebinding of the motors. Thus, processive motors, which commonly follow individual protofilaments in the absence of obstacles, appear to possess intrinsic circumvention mechanisms. These mechanisms were potentially optimized by evolution for the motor's specific intracellular tasks and environments.

SUBMITTER: Schneider R 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4423065 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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