Depolymerizing kinesins Kip3 and MCAK shape cellular microtubule architecture by differential control of catastrophe

Melissa K Gardner, Marija Zanic, Christopher Gell, Volker Bormuth, Jonathon Howard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

106 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Microtubules are dynamic filaments whose ends alternate between periods of slow growth and rapid shortening as they explore intracellular space and move organelles. A key question is how regulatory proteins modulate catastrophe, the conversion from growth to shortening. To study this process, we reconstituted microtubule dynamics in the absence and presence of the kinesin-8 Kip3 and the kinesin-13 MCAK. Surprisingly, we found that, even in the absence of the kinesins, the microtubule catastrophe frequency depends on the age of the microtubule, indicating that catastrophe is a multistep process. Kip3 slowed microtubule growth in a length-dependent manner and increased the rate of aging. In contrast, MCAK eliminated the aging process. Thus, both kinesins are catastrophe factors; Kip3 mediates fine control of microtubule length by narrowing the distribution of maximum lengths prior to catastrophe, whereas MCAK promotes rapid restructuring of the microtubule cytoskeleton by making catastrophe a first-order random process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1092-1103
Number of pages12
JournalCell
Volume147
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 23 2011

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Kinesin
Microtubules
Aging of materials
Random processes
Growth
Intracellular Space
Cytoskeleton
Organelles
Proteins

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Depolymerizing kinesins Kip3 and MCAK shape cellular microtubule architecture by differential control of catastrophe. / Gardner, Melissa K; Zanic, Marija; Gell, Christopher; Bormuth, Volker; Howard, Jonathon.

In: Cell, Vol. 147, No. 5, 23.11.2011, p. 1092-1103.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gardner, Melissa K ; Zanic, Marija ; Gell, Christopher ; Bormuth, Volker ; Howard, Jonathon. / Depolymerizing kinesins Kip3 and MCAK shape cellular microtubule architecture by differential control of catastrophe. In: Cell. 2011 ; Vol. 147, No. 5. pp. 1092-1103.
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