The kinesin-like protein Pavarotti functions noncanonically to regulate actin dynamics

J Cell Biol. 2020 Sep 7;219(9):e201912117. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201912117.


Pavarotti, the Drosophila MKLP1 orthologue, is a kinesin-like protein that works with Tumbleweed (MgcRacGAP) as the centralspindlin complex. This complex is essential for cytokinesis, where it helps to organize the contractile actomyosin ring at the equator of dividing cells by activating the RhoGEF Pebble. Actomyosin rings also function as the driving force during cell wound repair. We previously showed that Tumbleweed and Pebble are required for the cell wound repair process. Here, we show that Pavarotti also functions during wound repair and confirm that while Pavarotti, Tumbleweed, and Pebble are all used during this cellular repair, each has a unique localization pattern and knockdown phenotype, demonstrating centralspindlin-independent functions. Surprisingly, we find that the classically microtubule-associated Pavarotti binds directly to actin in vitro and in vivo and has a noncanonical role directly regulating actin dynamics. Finally, we demonstrate that this actin regulation by Pavarotti is not specific to cellular wound repair but is also used in normal development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cytokinesis / physiology
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism*
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins / metabolism
  • Kinesins / metabolism*
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Protein Binding / physiology
  • Rho Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors / metabolism
  • Spindle Apparatus / metabolism


  • Actins
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • GTPase-Activating Proteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Rho Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors
  • mgcRacGAP
  • pav protein, Drosophila
  • Kinesins