Report

Directional Switching of the Kinesin Cin8 Through Motor Coupling

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Science  24 Feb 2011:
1199945
DOI: 10.1126/science.1199945

Abstract

Kinesin motor proteins are thought to move exclusively in either one or the other direction along microtubules. Proteins of the kinesin-5 family are tetrameric microtubule crosslinking motors important for cell division and differentiation in various organisms. Kinesin-5 motors are considered to be plus end-directed. However, here we found that purified kinesin-5 Cin8 from budding yeast could behave as a bidirectional kinesin. On individual microtubules, single Cin8 motors were minus end-directed motors, whereas they switched to plus end-directed motility when working in a team of motors sliding antiparallel microtubules apart. This kinesin can thus change directionality of movement depending on whether it acts alone or in an ensemble.