Modular Aspects of Kinesin Force Generation Machinery

Biophys J. 2013 May 7;104(9):1969-78. doi: 10.1016/j.bpj.2013.03.051.

Abstract

The motor head of kinesin carries out microtubule binding, ATP hydrolysis, and force generation. Despite a high level of sequence and structural conservation, subtle variations in subdomains of the motor head determine family-specific properties. In particular, both Kinesin-1 (Kin-1) and Kinesin-5 (Kin-5) walk processively to the microtubule plus-end, yet show distinct motility characteristics suitable for their functions. We studied chimeric Kin-1/Kin-5 constructs with a combination of single molecule motility assays and molecular dynamics simulations to demonstrate that Kin-5 possesses a force-generating element similar to Kin-1, i.e., the cover-neck bundle. Furthermore, the Kin-5 neck linker makes additional contacts with the core of the motor head via loop L13, which putatively compensates for the shorter cover-neck bundle of Kin-5. Our results indicate that Kin-1 is mechanically optimized for individual cargo transport, whereas Kin-5 does not necessarily maximize its mechanical performance. Its biochemical rates and enhanced force sensitivity may instead be beneficial for operation in a group of motors. Such variations in subdomains would be a strategy for achieving diversity in motility with the conserved motor head.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Drosophila melanogaster / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Kinesin / chemistry*
  • Kinesin / genetics
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulation*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Optical Tweezers
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary

Substances

  • Kinesin