Genetic evidence for a microtubule-destabilizing effect of conventional kinesin and analysis of its consequences for the control of nuclear distribution in Aspergillus nidulans

Mol Microbiol. 2001 Oct;42(1):121-32. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.2001.02609.x.

Abstract

Conventional kinesin is a microtubule-dependent motor protein believed to be involved in a variety of intracellular transport processes. In filamentous fungi, conventional kinesin has been implicated in different processes, such as vesicle migration, polarized growth, nuclear distribution, mitochondrial movement and vacuole formation. To gain further insights into the functions of this kinesin motor, we identified and characterized the conventional kinesin gene, kinA, of the established model organism Aspergillus nidulans. Disruption of the gene leads to a reduced growth rate and a nuclear positioning defect, resulting in nuclear cluster formation. These clusters are mobile and display a dynamic behaviour. The mutant phenotypes are pronounced at 37 degrees C, but rescued at 25 degrees C. The hyphal growth rate at 25 degrees C was even higher than that of the wild type at the same temperature. In addition, kinesin-deficient strains were less sensitive to the microtubule destabilizing drug benomyl, and disruption of conventional kinesin suppressed the cold sensitivity of an alpha-tubulin mutation (tubA4). These results suggest that conventional kinesin of A. nidulans plays a role in cytoskeletal dynamics, by destabilizing microtubules. This new role of conventional kinesin in microtubule stability could explain the various phenotypes observed in different fungi.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Aspergillus nidulans / cytology
  • Aspergillus nidulans / metabolism*
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins / chemistry
  • Fungal Proteins / genetics*
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Kinesin / chemistry
  • Kinesin / genetics*
  • Kinesin / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / genetics
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phenotype
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Temperature

Substances

  • Fungal Proteins
  • KinA protein, Aspergillus nidulans
  • Molecular Motor Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Kinesin