MCAK associates with EB1

Oncogene. 2008 Apr 10;27(17):2494-500. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1210867. Epub 2007 Oct 29.


The microtubule (MT)-associated protein EB1 localizes to and promotes growth at MT plus ends. The MT depolymerizing kinesin MCAK has also been reported to track growing MT plus ends. Here, we confirm that human MCAK colocalizes with EB1 at growing MT ends when expressed as a GFP fusion protein in transfected cells. We show that MCAK associates with the C-terminus of EB1 and EB3 but much less efficiently with RP1. EB1 associates with the N-terminal localization and regulatory domain in MCAK but not with the motor domain of the protein. The interaction is competitive with the binding of other EB1 ligands and does not require MTs. Knockdown of EB1 expression using siRNA impaired the ability of GFP-MCAK to localize to MT tips in transfected cells. We propose that MCAK is targeted to growing MT ends by EB1, that MCAK is held in an inactive conformation when associated with EB1 and that this could provide the basis for a mechanism that facilitates rapid switching between phases of MT growth and depolymerization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Humans
  • Kinesins / genetics
  • Kinesins / metabolism*
  • Ligands
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / genetics
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding


  • KIF2C protein, human
  • Ligands
  • MAPRE1 protein, human
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Kinesins