Recycling endosome tubule morphogenesis from sorting endosomes requires the kinesin motor KIF13A

Cell Rep. 2014 Feb 13;6(3):445-54. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.01.002. Epub 2014 Jan 23.


Early endosomes consist of vacuolar sorting and tubular recycling domains that segregate components fated for degradation in lysosomes or reuse by recycling to the plasma membrane or Golgi. The tubular transport intermediates that constitute recycling endosomes function in cell polarity, migration, and cytokinesis. Endosomal tubulation and fission require both actin and intact microtubules, but although factors that stabilize recycling endosomal tubules have been identified, those required for tubule generation from vacuolar sorting endosomes (SEs) remain unknown. We show that the microtubule motor KIF13A associates with recycling endosome tubules and controls their morphogenesis. Interfering with KIF13A function impairs the formation of endosomal tubules from SEs with consequent defects in endosome homeostasis and cargo recycling. Moreover, KIF13A interacts and cooperates with RAB11 to generate endosomal tubules. Our data illustrate how a microtubule motor couples early endosome morphogenesis to its motility and function.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Endocytosis*
  • Endosomes / metabolism*
  • Endosomes / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Kinesin / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure
  • Morphogenesis*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Transport
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism


  • KIF13A protein, human
  • KIF13A protein, mouse
  • rab11 protein
  • Kinesin
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins