1. Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics
  2. Cell Biology
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Kinesin Kip2 enhances microtubule growth in vitro through length-dependent feedback on polymerization and catastrophe

  1. Anneke Hibbel
  2. Aliona Bogdanova
  3. Mohammed Mahamdeh
  4. Anita Jannasch
  5. Marko Storch
  6. Erik Schäffer
  7. Dimitris Liakopoulos
  8. Jonathon Howard  Is a corresponding author
  1. Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Germany
  2. Yale University, United States
  3. Imperial College London, United Kingdom
  4. Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Germany
  5. Centre de Recherche de Biochimie Macromoléculaire, France
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Cite this article as: eLife 2015;4:e10542 doi: 10.7554/eLife.10542

Abstract

The size and position of mitotic spindles is determined by the lengths of their constituent microtubules. Regulation of microtubule length requires feedback to set the balance between growth and shrinkage. Whereas negative feedback mechanisms for microtubule length control, based on depolymerizing kinesins and severing proteins, have been studied extensively, positive feedback mechanisms are not known. Here we report that the budding yeast kinesin Kip2 is a microtubule polymerase and catastrophe inhibitor in vitro that uses its processive motor activity as part of a feedback loop to further promote microtubule growth. Positive feedback arises because longer microtubules bind more motors, which walk to the ends where they further reinforce growth and inhibit catastrophe. We propose that positive feedback, common in biochemical pathways to switch between signaling states, can also be used in a mechanical signaling pathway to switch between structural states, in this case between short and long polymers.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Anneke Hibbel

    Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Aliona Bogdanova

    Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Mohammed Mahamdeh

    Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Anita Jannasch

    Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  5. Marko Storch

    Department of Life Sciences, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  6. Erik Schäffer

    Zentrum für Molekularbiologie der Pflanzen, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  7. Dimitris Liakopoulos

    Centre de Recherche de Biochimie Macromoléculaire, Montpellier, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  8. Jonathon Howard

    Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, New Haven, United States
    For correspondence
    jonathon.howard@yale.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Andrea Musacchio, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, Germany

Publication history

  1. Received: August 3, 2015
  2. Accepted: November 17, 2015
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: November 18, 2015 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: February 9, 2016 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2015, Hibbel et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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