Kinesin-12 Kif15 targets kinetochore fibers through an intrinsic two-step mechanism

Curr Biol. 2014 Oct 6;24(19):2307-13. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2014.08.022. Epub 2014 Sep 25.

Abstract

Proteins that recognize and act on specific subsets of microtubules (MTs) enable the varied functions of the MT cytoskeleton. We recently discovered that Kif15 localizes exclusively to kinetochore fibers (K-fibers) or bundles of kinetochore-MTs within the mitotic spindle. It is currently speculated that the MT-associated protein TPX2 loads Kif15 onto spindle MTs, but this model has not been rigorously tested. Here, we show that Kif15 accumulates on MT bundles as a consequence of two inherent biochemical properties. First, Kif15 is self-repressed by its C terminus. Second, Kif15 harbors a nonmotor MT-binding site, enabling dimeric Kif15 to crosslink and slide MTs. Two-MT binding activates Kif15, resulting in its accumulation on and motility within MT bundles but not on individual MTs. We propose that Kif15 targets K-fibers via an intrinsic two-step mechanism involving molecular unfolding and two-MT binding. This work challenges the current model of Kif15 regulation and provides the first account of a kinesin that specifically recognizes a higher-order MT array.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Cycle*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Kinesin / genetics*
  • Kinesin / metabolism
  • Kinetochores / metabolism*
  • Kinetochores / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure
  • Mitosis
  • Spindle Apparatus / metabolism*
  • Spindle Apparatus / ultrastructure

Substances

  • KIF15 protein, human
  • Kinesin