Kinesin-14 motors drive a right-handed helical motion of antiparallel microtubules around each other.
ABSTRACT: Within the mitotic spindle, kinesin motors cross-link and slide overlapping microtubules. Some of these motors exhibit off-axis power strokes, but their impact on motility and force generation in microtubule overlaps has not been investigated. Here, we develop and utilize a three-dimensional in vitro motility assay to explore kinesin-14, Ncd, driven sliding of cross-linked microtubules. We observe that free microtubules, sliding on suspended microtubules, not only rotate around their own axis but also move around the suspended microtubules with right-handed helical trajectories. Importantly, the associated torque is large enough to cause microtubule twisting and coiling. Further, our technique allows us to measure the in situ spatial extension of the motors between cross-linked microtubules to be about 20?nm. We argue that the capability of microtubule-crosslinking kinesins to cause helical motion of overlapping microtubules around each other allows for flexible filament organization, roadblock circumvention and torque generation in the mitotic spindle.
Project description:Kinesin-5 motors organize mitotic spindles by sliding apart microtubules. They are homotetramers with dimeric motor and tail domains at both ends of a bipolar minifilament. Here, we describe a regulatory mechanism involving direct binding between tail and motor domains and its fundamental role in microtubule sliding. Kinesin-5 tails decrease microtubule-stimulated ATP-hydrolysis by specifically engaging motor domains in the nucleotide-free or ADP states. Cryo-EM reveals that tail binding stabilizes an open motor domain ATP-active site. Full-length motors undergo slow motility and cluster together along microtubules, while tail-deleted motors exhibit rapid motility without clustering. The tail is critical for motors to zipper together two microtubules by generating substantial sliding forces. The tail is essential for mitotic spindle localization, which becomes severely reduced in tail-deleted motors. Our studies suggest a revised microtubule-sliding model, in which kinesin-5 tails stabilize motor domains in the microtubule-bound state by slowing ATP-binding, resulting in high-force production at both homotetramer ends.
Project description:During cell division, a microtubule-based mitotic spindle mediates the faithful segregation of duplicated chromosomes into daughter cells. Proper length control of the metaphase mitotic spindle is critical to this process and is thought to be achieved through a mechanism in which spindle pole separation forces from plus-end-directed motors are balanced by forces from minus-end-directed motors that pull spindle poles together. However, in contrast to this model, metaphase mitotic spindles with inactive kinesin-14 minus-end-directed motors often have shorter spindle lengths, along with poorly aligned spindle microtubules. A mechanistic explanation for this paradox is unknown. Using computational modeling, in vitro reconstitution, live-cell fluorescence microscopy, and electron microscopy, we now find that the budding yeast kinesin-14 molecular motor Kar3-Cik1 can efficiently align spindle microtubules along the spindle axis. This then allows plus-end-directed kinesin-5 motors to efficiently exert the outward microtubule sliding forces needed for proper spindle bipolarity.
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:Human Kinesin-12 (hKif15) plays a crucial role in assembly and maintenance of the mitotic spindle. These functions of hKif15 are partially redundant with Kinesin-5 (Eg5), which can cross-link and drive the extensile sliding of antiparallel microtubules. Although both motors are known to be tetramers, the functional properties of hKif15 are less well understood. Here we reveal how single or multiple Kif15 motors can cross-link, transport, and focus the plus-ends of intersecting microtubules. During transport, Kif15 motors step simultaneously along both microtubules with relative microtubule transport driven by a velocity differential between motor domain pairs. Remarkably, this differential is affected by the underlying intersection geometry: the differential is low on parallel and extreme on antiparallel microtubules where one motor domain pair becomes immobile. As a result, when intersecting microtubules are antiparallel, canonical transport of one microtubule along the other is allowed because one motor is firmly attached to one microtubule while it is stepping on the other. When intersecting microtubules are parallel, however, Kif15 motors can drive (biased) parallel sliding because the motor simultaneously steps on both microtubules that it cross-links. These microtubule rearrangements will focus microtubule plus-ends and finally lead to the formation of parallel bundles. At the same time, Kif15 motors cooperate to suppress catastrophe events at polymerizing microtubule plus-ends, raising the possibility that Kif15 motors may synchronize the dynamics of bundles that they have assembled. Thus, Kif15 is adapted to operate on parallel microtubule substrates, a property that clearly distinguishes it from the other tetrameric spindle motor, Eg5.
Project description:Form and function of the mitotic spindle depend on motor proteins that crosslink microtubules and move them relative to each other. Among these are kinesin-14s, such as Ncd, which interact with one microtubule via their non-processive motor domains and with another via their diffusive tail domains, the latter allowing the protein to slip along the microtubule surface. Little is known about the influence of the tail domains on the protein's performance. Here, we show that diffusive anchorage of Ncd's tail domains impacts velocity and force considerably. Tail domain slippage reduced velocities from 270?nm?s<sup>-1</sup> to 60?nm?s<sup>-1</sup> and forces from several piconewtons to the sub-piconewton range. These findings challenge the notion that kinesin-14 may act as an antagonizer of other crosslinking motors, such as kinesin-5, during mitosis. It rather suggests a role of kinesin-14 as a flexible element, pliantly sliding and crosslinking microtubules to facilitate remodeling of the mitotic spindle.
Project description:During cell division, mitotic motors organize microtubules in the bipolar spindle into either polar arrays at the spindle poles or a "nematic" network of aligned microtubules at the spindle center. The reasons for the distinct self-organizing capacities of dynamic microtubules and different motors are not understood. Using in vitro reconstitution experiments and computer simulations, we show that the human mitotic motors kinesin-5 KIF11 and kinesin-14 HSET, despite opposite directionalities, can both organize dynamic microtubules into either polar or nematic networks. We show that in addition to the motor properties the natural asymmetry between microtubule plus- and minus-end growth critically contributes to the organizational potential of the motors. We identify two control parameters that capture system composition and kinetic properties and predict the outcome of microtubule network organization. These results elucidate a fundamental design principle of spindle bipolarity and establish general rules for active filament network organization.
Project description:The dynamic behavior of homotetrameric kinesin-5 during mitosis is poorly understood. Kinesin-5 may function only by binding, cross-linking, and sliding adjacent spindle microtubules (MTs), or, alternatively, it may bind to a stable "spindle matrix" to generate mitotic movements. We created transgenic Drosophila melanogaster expressing fluorescent kinesin-5, KLP61F-GFP, in a klp61f mutant background, where it rescues mitosis and viability. KLP61F-GFP localizes to interpolar MT bundles, half spindles, and asters, and is enriched around spindle poles. In fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments, KLP61F-GFP displays dynamic mobility similar to tubulin, which is inconsistent with a substantial static pool of kinesin-5. The data conform to a reaction-diffusion model in which most KLP61F is bound to spindle MTs, with the remainder diffusing freely. KLP61F appears to transiently bind MTs, moving short distances along them before detaching. Thus, kinesin-5 motors can function by cross-linking and sliding adjacent spindle MTs without the need for a static spindle matrix.
Project description:Microtubule length control is essential for the assembly and function of the mitotic spindle. Kinesin-like motor proteins that directly attenuate microtubule dynamics make key contributions to this control, but the specificity of these motors for different subpopulations of spindle microtubules is not understood. Kif18A (kinesin-8) localizes to the plus ends of the relatively slowly growing kinetochore fibers (K-fibers) and attenuates their dynamics, whereas Kif4A (kinesin-4) localizes to mitotic chromatin and suppresses the growth of highly dynamic, nonkinetochore microtubules. Although Kif18A and Kif4A similarly suppress microtubule growth in vitro, it remains unclear whether microtubule-attenuating motors control the lengths of K-fibers and nonkinetochore microtubules through a common mechanism. To address this question, we engineered chimeric kinesins that contain the Kif4A, Kif18B (kinesin-8), or Kif5B (kinesin-1) motor domain fused to the C-terminal tail of Kif18A. Each of these chimeric kinesins localizes to K-fibers; however, K-fiber length control requires an activity specific to kinesin-8s. Mutational studies of Kif18A indicate that this control depends on both its C-terminus and a unique, positively charged surface loop, called loop2, within the motor domain. These data support a model in which microtubule-attenuating kinesins are molecularly "tuned" to control the dynamics of specific subsets of spindle microtubules.
Project description:Kinesin-14s are commonly known as nonprocessive minus end-directed microtubule motors that function mainly for mitotic spindle assembly. Here we show using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy that KlpA-a kinesin-14 from Aspergillus nidulans-is a context-dependent bidirectional motor. KlpA exhibits plus end-directed processive motility on single microtubules, but reverts to canonical minus end-directed motility when anchored on the surface in microtubule-gliding experiments or interacting with a pair of microtubules in microtubule-sliding experiments. Plus end-directed processive motility of KlpA on single microtubules depends on its N-terminal nonmotor microtubule-binding tail, as KlpA without the tail is nonprocessive and minus end-directed. We suggest that the tail is a de facto directionality switch for KlpA motility: when the tail binds to the same microtubule as the motor domain, KlpA is a plus end-directed processive motor; in contrast, when the tail detaches from the microtubule to which the motor domain binds, KlpA becomes minus end-directed.
Project description:During metaphase, sister chromatids are connected to microtubules extending from the opposite spindle poles via kinetochores to protein complexes on the chromosome. Kinetochores congress to the equatorial plane of the spindle and oscillate around it, with kinesin-8 motors restricting these movements. Yet, the physical mechanism underlying kinetochore movements is unclear. We show that kinetochore movements in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe are regulated by kinesin-8-promoted microtubule catastrophe, force-induced rescue, and microtubule dynamic instability. A candidate screen showed that among the selected motors only kinesin-8 motors Klp5/Klp6 are required for kinetochore centering. Kinesin-8 accumulates at the end of microtubules, where it promotes catastrophe. Laser ablation of the spindle resulted in kinetochore movement toward the intact spindle pole in wild-type and klp5? cells, suggesting that kinetochore movement is driven by pulling forces. Our theoretical model with Langevin description of microtubule dynamic instability shows that kinesin-8 motors are required for kinetochore centering, whereas sensitivity of rescue to force is necessary for the generation of oscillations. We found that irregular kinetochore movements occur for a broader range of parameters than regular oscillations. Thus, our work provides an explanation for how regulation of microtubule dynamic instability contributes to kinetochore congression and the accompanying movements around the spindle center.