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Plant Physiol. 2004 Dec;136(4):3945-55. Epub 2004 Nov 19.

A plant-specific kinesin binds to actin microfilaments and interacts with cortical microtubules in cotton fibers.

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  • 1Section of Plant Biology, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.


A novel kinesin, GhKCH1, has been identified from cotton (Gossypium hirsutum) fibers. GhKCH1 has a centrally located kinesin catalytic core, a signature neck peptide of minus end-directed kinesins, and a unique calponin homology (CH) domain at its N terminus. GhKCH1 and other CH domain-containing kinesins (KCHs) belong to a distinct branch of the minus end-directed kinesin subfamily. To date the KCH kinesins have been found only in higher plants. Because the CH domain is often found in actin-binding proteins, we proposed that GhKCH1 might play a role in mediating dynamic interaction between microtubules and actin microfilaments in cotton fibers. In an in vitro actin-binding assay, GhKCH1's N-terminal region including the CH domain interacted directly with actin microfilaments. In cotton fibers, GhKCH1 decorated cortical microtubules in a punctate manner. Occasionally GhKCH1 was found to be associated with transverse-cortical actin microfilaments, but never with axial actin cables in cotton fibers. Localization of GhKCH1 on cortical microtubules was independent of the integrity of actin microfilaments. Thus, GhKCH1 may play a role in organizing the actin network in coordination with the cortical microtubule array. These data also suggest that flowering plants may employ unique KCHs to coordinate actin microfilaments and microtubules during cell growth.

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