Directionally biased sidestepping of Kip3/kinesin-8 is regulated by ATP waiting time and motor-microtubule interaction strength.
ABSTRACT: Kinesin-8 motors, which move in a highly processive manner toward microtubule plus ends where they act as depolymerases, are essential regulators of microtubule dynamics in cells. To understand their navigation strategy on the microtubule lattice, we studied the 3D motion of single yeast kinesin-8 motors, Kip3, on freely suspended microtubules in vitro. We observed short-pitch, left-handed helical trajectories indicating that kinesin-8 motors frequently switch protofilaments in a directionally biased manner. Intriguingly, sidestepping was not directly coupled to forward stepping but rather depended on the average dwell time per forward step under limiting ATP concentrations. Based on our experimental findings and numerical simulations we propose that effective sidestepping toward the left is regulated by a bifurcation in the Kip3 step cycle, involving a transition from a two-head-bound to a one-head-bound conformation in the ATP-waiting state. Results from a kinesin-1 mutant with extended neck linker hint toward a generic sidestepping mechanism for processive kinesins, facilitating the circumvention of intracellular obstacles on the microtubule surface.
Project description:The budding yeast kinesin-8 Kip3 is a highly processive motor protein that walks to the ends of cytoskeletal microtubules and shortens them in a collective manner. However, how exactly Kip3 reaches the microtubule end is unclear. Although rotations of microtubules in multimotored Kip3 gliding assays implied directed sideward switching between microtubule protofilaments, two-dimensional, single-molecule, optical-tweezers assays indicated that Kip3 randomly switched protofilaments. Here, we topographically suspended microtubules such that Kip3 motors could freely access the microtubules in three dimensions. Tracking single-motor-driven microspheres with a three-dimensional, zero-load, optical-tweezers-based force clamp showed that Kip3 switched protofilaments in discrete steps equally frequent in both directions. A statistical analysis confirmed the diffusive sideward motion of Kip3, consistent with the two-dimensional single-molecule results. Furthermore, we found that motors were in one of three states: either not switching protofilaments or switching between them with a slow or fast sideward-stepping rate. Interestingly, this sideward diffusion was limited to one turn, suggesting that motors could not cross the microtubule seam. The diffusive protofilament switching may enable Kip3 to efficiently bypass obstacles and reach the microtubule end for length regulation.
Project description:Kinesin-1 motor proteins walk parallel to the protofilament axes of microtubules as they step from one tubulin dimer to the next. Is protofilament tracking an inherent property of processive kinesin motors, like kinesin-1, and what are the structural determinants underlying protofilament tracking? To address these questions, we investigated the tracking properties of the processive kinesin-8, Kip3. Using in vitro gliding motility assays, we found that Kip3 rotates microtubules counterclockwise around their longitudinal axes with periodicities of ?1 ?m. These rotations indicate that the motors switch protofilaments with a bias toward the left. Molecular modeling suggests 1), that the protofilament switching may be due to kinesin-8 having a longer neck linker than kinesin-1, and 2), that the leftward bias is due the asymmetric geometry of the motor neck linker complex.
Project description:The kinesin-8 family of microtubule motors plays a critical role in microtubule length control in cells. These motors have complex effects on microtubule dynamics: they destabilize growing microtubules yet stabilize shrinking microtubules. The budding yeast kinesin-8, Kip3, accumulates on plus ends of growing but not shrinking microtubules. Here we identify an essential role of the tail domain of Kip3 in mediating both its destabilizing and its stabilizing activities. The Kip3 tail promotes Kip3's accumulation at the plus ends and facilitates the destabilizing effect of Kip3. However, the Kip3 tail also inhibits microtubule shrinkage and is required for promoting microtubule rescue by Kip3. These effects of the tail domain are likely to be mediated by the tubulin- and microtubule-binding activities that we describe. We propose a concentration-dependent model for the coordination of the destabilizing and stabilizing activities of Kip3 and discuss its relevance to cellular microtubule organization.
Project description:Microtubules are highly dynamic filaments with dramatic structural rearrangements and length changes during the cell cycle. An accurate control of the microtubule length is essential for many cellular processes, in particular during cell division. Motor proteins from the kinesin-8 family depolymerize microtubules by interacting with their ends in a collective and length-dependent manner. However, it is still unclear how kinesin-8 depolymerizes microtubules. Here, we tracked the microtubule end-binding activity of yeast kinesin-8, Kip3, under varying loads and nucleotide conditions using high-precision optical tweezers. We found that single Kip3 motors spent up to 200 s at the microtubule end and were not stationary there but took several 8-nm forward and backward steps that were suppressed by loads. Interestingly, increased loads, similar to increased motor concentrations, also exponentially decreased the motors' residence time at the microtubule end. On the microtubule lattice, loads also exponentially decreased the run length and time. However, for the same load, lattice run times were significantly longer compared to end residence times, suggesting the presence of a distinct force-dependent detachment mechanism at the microtubule end. The force dependence of the end residence time enabled us to estimate what force must act on a single motor to achieve the microtubule depolymerization speed of a motor ensemble. This force is higher than the stall force of a single Kip3 motor, supporting a collective force-dependent depolymerization mechanism that unifies the so-called "bump-off" and "switching" models. Understanding the mechanics of kinesin-8's microtubule end activity will provide important insights into cell division with implications for cancer research.
Project description:Kinesin-8 motors regulate the size of microtubule structures, using length-dependent accumulation at the plus end to preferentially disassemble long microtubules. Despite extensive study, the kinesin-8 depolymerase mechanism remains under debate. Here, we provide evidence for an alternative, tubulin curvature-sensing model of microtubule depolymerization by the budding yeast kinesin-8, Kip3. Kinesin-8/Kip3 uses ATP hydrolysis, like other kinesins, for stepping on the microtubule lattice, but at the plus end Kip3 undergoes a switch: its ATPase activity is suppressed when it binds tightly to the curved conformation of tubulin. This prolongs plus-end binding, stabilizes protofilament curvature, and ultimately promotes microtubule disassembly. The tubulin curvature-sensing model is supported by our identification of Kip3 structural elements necessary and sufficient for plus-end binding and depolymerase activity, as well as by the identification of an ?-tubulin residue specifically required for the Kip3-curved tubulin interaction. Together, these findings elucidate a major regulatory mechanism controlling the size of cellular microtubule structures.
Project description:In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, chromosome congression clusters kinetochores on either side of the spindle equator at metaphase. Many organisms require one or more kinesin-8 molecular motors to achieve chromosome alignment. The yeast kinesin-8, Kip3, has been well studied in vitro but a role in chromosome congression has not been reported. We investigated Kip3's role in this process using semi-automated, quantitative fluorescence microscopy and time-lapse imaging and found that Kip3 is required for congression. Deletion of KIP3 increases inter-kinetochore distances and increases the variability in the position of sister kinetochores along the spindle axis during metaphase. Kip3 does not regulate spindle length and is not required for kinetochore-microtubule attachment. Instead, Kip3 clusters kinetochores on the metaphase spindle by tightly regulating kinetochore microtubule lengths.
Project description:Molecular motors translocate along cytoskeletal filaments, as in the case of kinesin motors on microtubules. Although conventional kinesin-1 tracks a single microtubule protofilament, other kinesins, akin to dyneins, switch protofilaments. However, the molecular trajectory-whether protofilament switching occurs in a directed or stochastic manner-is unclear. Here, we used high-resolution optical tweezers to track the path of single budding yeast kinesin-8, Kip3, motor proteins. Under applied sideward loads, we found that individual motors stepped sideward in both directions, with and against loads, with a broad distribution in measured step sizes. Interestingly, the force response depended on the direction. Based on a statistical analysis and simulations accounting for the geometry, we propose a diffusive sideward stepping motion of Kip3 on the microtubule lattice, asymmetrically biased by force. This finding is consistent with previous multimotor gliding assays and sheds light on the molecular switching mechanism. For kinesin-8, the diffusive switching mechanism may enable the motor to bypass obstacles and reach the microtubule end for length regulation. For other motors, such a mechanism may have implications for torque generation around the filament axis.
Project description:Molecular motors play critical roles in the formation of mitotic spindles, either through controlling the stability of individual microtubules, or by crosslinking and sliding microtubule arrays. Kinesin-8 motors are best known for their regulatory roles in controlling microtubule dynamics. They contain microtubule-destabilizing activities, and restrict spindle length in a wide variety of cell types and organisms. Here, we report an antiparallel microtubule-sliding activity of the budding yeast kinesin-8, Kip3. The in vivo importance of this sliding activity was established through the identification of complementary Kip3 mutants that separate the sliding activity and microtubule-destabilizing activity. In conjunction with Cin8, a kinesin-5 family member, the sliding activity of Kip3 promotes bipolar spindle assembly and the maintenance of genome stability. We propose a slide-disassemble model where the sliding and destabilizing activity of Kip3 balance during pre-anaphase. This facilitates normal spindle assembly. However, the destabilizing activity of Kip3 dominates in late anaphase, inhibiting spindle elongation and ultimately promoting spindle disassembly.
Project description:To function in diverse cellular processes, the dynamic properties of microtubules must be tightly regulated. Cellular microtubules are influenced by a multitude of regulatory proteins, but how their activities are spatiotemporally coordinated within the cell, or on specific microtubules, remains mostly obscure. The conserved kinesin-8 motor proteins are important microtubule regulators, and family members from diverse species combine directed motility with the ability to modify microtubule dynamics. Yet how kinesin-8 activities are appropriately deployed in the cellular context is largely unknown. Here we reveal the importance of the nonmotor tail in differentially controlling the physiological functions of the budding yeast kinesin-8, Kip3. We demonstrate that the tailless Kip3 motor domain adequately governs microtubule dynamics at the bud tip to allow spindle positioning in early mitosis. Notably, discrete regions of the tail mediate specific functions of Kip3 on astral and spindle microtubules. The region proximal to the motor domain operates to spatially regulate astral microtubule stability, while the distal tail serves a previously unrecognized role to control the timing of mitotic spindle disassembly. These findings provide insights into how nonmotor tail domains differentially control kinesin functions in cells and the mechanisms that spatiotemporally control the stability of cellular microtubules.
Project description:Mitotic spindle function is critical for cell division and genomic stability. During anaphase, the elongating spindle physically segregates the sister chromatids. However, the molecular mechanisms that determine the extent of anaphase spindle elongation remain largely unclear. In a screen of yeast mutants with altered spindle length, we identified the kinesin-8 Kip3 as essential to scale spindle length with cell size. Kip3 is a multifunctional motor protein with microtubule depolymerase, plus-end motility, and antiparallel sliding activities. Here we demonstrate that the depolymerase activity is indispensable to control spindle length, whereas the motility and sliding activities are not sufficient. Furthermore, the microtubule-destabilizing activity is required to counteract Stu2/XMAP215-mediated microtubule polymerization so that spindle elongation terminates once spindles reach the appropriate final length. Our data support a model where Kip3 directly suppresses spindle microtubule polymerization, limiting midzone length. As a result, sliding forces within the midzone cannot buckle spindle microtubules, which allows the cell boundary to define the extent of spindle elongation.