The role of the Kinesin-13 family protein TbKif13-2 in flagellar length control of Trypanosoma brucei

Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2010 Dec;174(2):137-40. doi: 10.1016/j.molbiopara.2010.08.001. Epub 2010 Aug 20.


TbKif13-2, a member of the microtubule-depolymerising Kinesin-13 family was localised at the tip of the flagellum in Trypanosoma brucei. Its predicted activity suggested a role in the regulation of axonemal length. However, using gene deletion and overexpression of TbKif13-2 we show that, in procyclic T. brucei, this kinesin has only a very limited effect on flagellar length. Gene deletion resulted in no significant elongation of the flagellum and overexpression only slightly decreased flagellar length and the rate of growth of a new flagellum during cell division. This is in contrast to studies in Leishmania major, where overexpression of the TbKif13-2 homologue resulted in a significant length reduction of the flagellum. Knockout of TbKif13-2 has, however, an effect on the initial growth of the emerging new flagellum. In conclusion, we show that TbKif13-2 has only a marginal impact on flagellar length in T. brucei.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axoneme
  • Flagella / metabolism
  • Flagella / physiology*
  • Gene Deletion
  • Kinesin / genetics
  • Kinesin / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Organ Size
  • Protozoan Proteins / genetics
  • Protozoan Proteins / metabolism*
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / genetics
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / growth & development*
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / metabolism
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / ultrastructure


  • Protozoan Proteins
  • Kinesin