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Clustering of a kinesin-14 motor enables processive retrograde microtubule-based transport in plants

Nature Plants volume 1, Article number: 15087 (2015) | Download Citation

Abstract

The molecular motors kinesin and dynein drive bidirectional motility along microtubules (MTs) in most eukaryotic cells. Land plants, however, are a notable exception, because they contain a large number of kinesins but lack cytoplasmic dynein, the foremost processive retrograde transporter. It remains unclear how plants achieve retrograde cargo transport without dynein. Here, we have analysed the motility of the six members of minus-end-directed kinesin-14 motors in the moss Physcomitrella patens and found that none are processive as native dimers. However, when artificially clustered into as little as dimer of dimers, the type-VI kinesin-14 (a homologue of Arabidopsis KCBP (kinesin-like calmodulin binding protein)) exhibited highly processive and fast motility (up to 0.6 μm s−1). Multiple kin14-VI dimers attached to liposomes also induced transport of this membrane cargo over several microns. Consistent with these results, in vivo observations of green fluorescent protein-tagged kin14-VI in moss cells revealed fluorescent punctae that moved processively towards the minus-ends of the cytoplasmic MTs. These data suggest that clustering of a kinesin-14 motor serves as a dynein-independent mechanism for retrograde transport in plants.

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to S. Ross and L. Chang (Nikon USA) for providing microscopes at MBL. W. Huynh provided invaluable advice in establishing the liposome assay, and A. Jain assisted with the photobleaching experiment. We also thank M. Bezanilla (University of Massachusetts Amherst) and Tomoko Nishiyama (Nagoya University) for help with microscopy and helpful discussion, Y. Nakaoka for moss lines, and M. Nishina and R. Inaba for technical assistance. This work was supported by the Human Frontier Science Program, the James A. and Faith Miller Memorial Fund (MBL), the Laura and Arthur Colwin Endowed Summer Research Fellowship Fund (MBL), the TORAY Science Foundation, Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (15K14540, MEXT) (G.G.), and the NIH (38499) (R.D.V.).

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Affiliations

  1. Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543, USA

    • Erik Jonsson
    • , Moé Yamada
    • , Ronald D. Vale
    •  & Gohta Goshima
  2. Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology, UCSF, 600 16th St., San Francisco, California 94158, USA

    • Erik Jonsson
    •  & Ronald D. Vale
  3. Division of Biological Science, Graduate School of Science, Nagoya University, Furo-cho, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya 464-8602, Japan

    • Moé Yamada
    •  & Gohta Goshima

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Contributions

E.J., M.Y., R.D.V. and G.G. designed the research; E.J., M.Y. and G.G. performed experiments; E.J., M.Y., R.D.V. and G.G. analysed data; E.J., R.D.V. and G.G. wrote the paper.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Gohta Goshima.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nplants.2015.87

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