Control of Directionality of Individual Kinesin-5 Motors

Adina Gerson-Gurwitz, Christina Thiede, Natalia Movshovich, Vladimir Fridman, Maria Podolskaya, Stefan Lakaemper, Dieter R. Klopfenstein, Christoph F. Schmidt, Larisa Gheber

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Kinesin-5 motors fulfill essential roles in mitotic spindle morphogenesis and
dynamics as slow, processive microtubule (MT)-plus-end directed motors.
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae kinesin-5 Cin8 was found, surprisingly, to
switch directionality. Here we have examined Cin8 directionality control using single-molecule fluorescence motility assays and live-cell microscopy. On spindles, Cin8 motors mostly moved slowly towards the midzone, in the plus-end direction of the interpolar MTs. Occasionally, Cin8 also moved faster towards the spindle poles, in the minus-end direction of the MTs. In vitro, individual Cin8 motors could be switched by ionic conditions from rapid and processive minus-end to slow plus-end motion on single MTs. At high ionic strength, Cin8 motors rapidly alternated directionalities between antiparallel microtubules, while driving steady plus-end relative sliding. Deletion of the uniquely large insert in loop 8 of Cin8 induced bias towards minus-end motility and affected the ionic-strength dependent directional switching of Cin8 in vitro. In vivo, the deletion mutant exhibited reduced midzone-directed motility and efficiency to support spindle elongation, indicating the importance of directionality control for the anaphase function of Cin8.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)696A-696A
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 31 Jan 2012


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