Kinesin force generation involves ATP-induced docking of the neck linker (NL) along the motor core. However, the roles of the proposed steps of NL docking, cover-neck bundle (CNB) and asparagine latch (N-latch) formation, during force generation are unclear. Furthermore, the necessity of NL docking for transport of membrane-bound cargo in cells has not been tested. We generated kinesin-1 motors impaired in CNB and/or N-latch formation based on molecular dynamics simulations. The mutant motors displayed reduced force output and inability to stall in optical trap assays but exhibited increased speeds, run lengths, and landing rates under unloaded conditions. NL docking thus enhances force production but at a cost to speed and processivity. In cells, teams of mutant motors were hindered in their ability to drive transport of Golgi elements (high-load cargo) but not peroxisomes (low-load cargo). These results demonstrate that the NL serves as a mechanical element for kinesin-1 transport under physiological conditions.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Barry J Grant
- Matthew J Lang
- Shashank Jariwala
- Breane G Budaitis
- Dana N Reinemann
- Breane G Budaitis
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Thomas Surrey, The Francis Crick Institute, United Kingdom
© 2019, Budaitis 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.
Dynamic regulation of transcription is crucial for the cellular responses to various environmental or developmental cues. Gdown1 is a ubiquitously expressed, RNA polymerase II (Pol II) interacting protein, essential for the embryonic development of metazoan. It tightly binds Pol II in vitro and competitively blocks the binding of TFIIF and possibly other transcriptional regulatory factors, yet its cellular functions and regulatory circuits remain unclear. Here, we show that human GDOWN1 strictly localizes in the cytoplasm of various types of somatic cells and exhibits a potent resistance to the imposed driving force for its nuclear localization. Combined with the genetic and microscope-based approaches, two types of the functionally coupled and evolutionally conserved localization regulatory motifs are identified, including the CRM1-dependent nucleus export signal (NES) and a novel Cytoplasmic Anchoring Signal (CAS) that mediates its retention outside of the nuclear pore complexes (NPC). Mutagenesis of CAS alleviates GDOWN1’s cytoplasmic retention, thus unlocks its nucleocytoplasmic shuttling properties, and the increased nuclear import and accumulation of GDOWN1 results in a drastic reduction of both Pol II and its associated global transcription levels. Importantly, the nuclear translocation of GDOWN1 occurs in response to the oxidative stresses, and the ablation of GDOWN1 significantly weakens the cellular tolerance. Collectively, our work uncovers the molecular basis of GDOWN1’s subcellular localization and a novel cellular strategy of modulating global transcription and stress-adaptation via controlling the nuclear translocation of GDOWN1.
Axon degeneration contributes to the disruption of neuronal circuit function in diseased and injured nervous systems. Severed axons degenerate following the activation of an evolutionarily conserved signaling pathway, which culminates in the activation of SARM1 in mammals to execute the pathological depletion of the metabolite NAD+. SARM1 NADase activity is activated by the NAD+ precursor nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). In mammals, keeping NMN levels low potently preserves axons after injury. However, it remains unclear whether NMN is also a key mediator of axon degeneration and dSarm activation in flies. Here, we demonstrate that lowering NMN levels in Drosophila through the expression of a newly generated prokaryotic NMN-Deamidase (NMN-D) preserves severed axons for months and keeps them circuit-integrated for weeks. NMN-D alters the NAD+ metabolic flux by lowering NMN, while NAD+ remains unchanged in vivo. Increased NMN synthesis, by the expression of mouse nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (mNAMPT), leads to faster axon degeneration after injury. We also show that NMN-induced activation of dSarm mediates axon degeneration in vivo. Finally, NMN-D delays neurodegeneration caused by loss of the sole NMN-consuming and NAD+-synthesizing enzyme dNmnat. Our results reveal a critical role for NMN in neurodegeneration in the fly, which extends beyond axonal injury. The potent neuroprotection by reducing NMN levels is similar to the interference with other essential mediators of axon degeneration in Drosophila.