Kinesin-8 from fission yeast: A heterodimeric, plus-end-directed motor that can couple microtubule depolymerization to cargo movement

Paula M. Grissom, Thomas Fiedler, Ekaterina L. Grishchuk, Daniela Nicastro, Robert R. West, J. Richard Mcintosh

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61 Scopus citations


Fission yeast expresses two kinesin-8s, previously identified and characterized as products of the klp5 + and klp6 genes. These polypeptides colocalize throughout the vegetative cell cycle as they bind cytoplasmic microtubules during interphase, spindle microtubules, and/or kinetochores during early mitosis, and the interpolar spindle as it elongates in anaphase B. Here, we describe in vitro properties of these motor proteins and some truncated versions expressed in either bacteria or Sf9 cells. The motor-plus-neck domain of Klp6p formed soluble dimers that cross-linked microtubules and showed both microtubule-activated ATPase and plus-end-directed motor activities. Full-length Klp5p and Klp6p, coexpressed in Sf9 cells, formed soluble heterodimers with the same activities. The latter recombinant protein could also couple microbeads to the ends of shortening microtubules and use energy from tubulin depolymerization to pull a load in the minus end direction. These results, together with the spindle localizations of these proteins in vivo and their requirement for cell viability in the absence of the Daml/DASH kinetochore complex, support the hypothesis that fission yeast kinesin-8 contributes both to chromosome congression to the metaphase plate and to the coupling of spindle microtubules to kinetochores during anaphase A.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963-972
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Biology of the Cell
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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