Development

Microtubule sliding during Drosophila development

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Science  26 Aug 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6302, pp. 883
DOI: 10.1126/science.353.6302.883-a

Kinesin-driven microtubule sliding contributes to cytoplasmic streaming in the Drosophila oocyte.

PHOTO: WEN LU, JOSHUA Z. RAPPOPORT AND VLADIMIR I. GELFAND (NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY)

The motor protein kinesin carries cargo to locations in the cell by moving along microtubules. Kinesin-1 can also move microtubules relative to each other. Winding et al. show that it does this by using its motor domain to move along one microtubule while using a second domain to bind another microtubule. They constructed a kinesin-1 mutant that was deficient in microtubule binding but able to bind and transport other cargo and a second mutant that was able to slide microtubules but could not transport cargo. Using these mutants, they demonstrated that microtubule sliding is important in axon and dendrite outgrowth during nervous system development. In addition, Lu et al. used the mutants to show that microtubule sliding contributes to cytoplasmic streaming, which is important in distributing RNA and proteins in Drosophila oocytes.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 10.1073/pnas.1520244113 and 10.1073/pnas.1522424113 (2016).

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