Engineered kinesin motor proteins amenable to small molecule inhibition [article]

Martin F Engelke, Michael Winding, Yang Yue, Shankar Shastry, Federico Teloni, Sanjay Reddy, T. Lynne Blasius, Pushpanjali Soppina, William O Hancock, Vladimir I Gelfand, Kristen Verhey
2016 bioRxiv   pre-print
The human genome encodes 45 kinesins that drive cell division, cell motility, intracellular trafficking, and ciliary function. Determining the cellular function of each kinesin would be greatly facilitated by specific small molecule inhibitors, but screens have yielded inhibitors that are specific to only a small number of kinesins, likely due to the high conservation of the kinesin motor domain across the superfamily. Here we present a chemical-genetic approach to engineer kinesin motors that
more » ... etain microtubule-dependent motility in the absence of inhibitor yet can be efficiently inhibited by small, cell-permeable molecules. Using kinesin-1 as a prototype, we tested two independent strategies to design inhibitable motors. First, we inserted the six amino acid tetracysteine tag into surface loops of the motor domain such that binding of biarsenic dyes allosterically inhibits processive motility. Second, we fused DmrB dimerization domains to the motor heads such that addition of B/B homodimerizer cross-links the two motor domains and inhibits motor stepping. We show, using cellular assays that the engineered kinesin-1 motors are able to transport artificial and natural kinesin-1 cargoes, but are efficiently inhibited by the addition of the relevant small molecule. Single-molecule imaging in vitro revealed that inhibitor addition reduces the number of processively moving motors on the microtubule, with minor effects on motor run length and velocity. It is likely that these inhibition strategies can be successfully applied to other members of the kinesin superfamily due to the high conservation of the kinesin motor domain. The described engineered motors will be of great utility to dynamically and specifically study kinesin function in cells and animals.
doi:10.1101/042663 fatcat:5mw55xftizdxhkll2rbenccc7e