Identification of a strong binding site for kinesin on the microtubule using mutant analysis of tubulin

Seiichi Uchimura, Yusuke Oguchi, Miho Katsuki, Takeo Usui, Hiroyuki Osada, Jun Ichi Nikawa, Shin'ichi Ishiwata, Etsuko Muto*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    54 Citations (Scopus)


    The kinesin-binding site on the microtubule has not been identified because of the technical difficulties involved in the mutant analyses of tubulin. Exploiting the budding yeast expression system, we succeeded in replacing the negatively charged residues in the α-helix 12 of β-tubulin with alanine and analyzed their effect on kinesin-microtubule interaction in vitro. The microtubule gliding assay showed that the affinity of the microtubules for kinesin was significantly reduced in E410A, D417A, and E421A, but not in E412A mutant. The unbinding force measurement revealed that in the former three mutants, the kinesin-microtubule interaction in the adenosine 5′-[β,γ-imido]triphosphate state (AMP-PNP state) became less stable when a load was imposed towards the microtubule minus end. In parallel with this decreased stability, the stall force of kinesin was reduced. Our results implicate residues E410, D417, and E421 as crucial for the kinesin-microtubule interaction in the strong binding state, thereby governing the size of kinesin stall force.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5932-5941
    Number of pages10
    JournalEMBO Journal
    Issue number24
    Publication statusPublished - 2006 Dec 13


    • Kinesin
    • Microtubule
    • Mutant analysis
    • Stall force
    • Yeast

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Genetics
    • Cell Biology


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