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Traffic. 2007 Feb;8(2):124-9. Epub 2006 Dec 20.

Dynactin enhances the processivity of kinesin-2.

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  • 1Department of Biology, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA.


Kinesin-2 is a major microtubule-based motor in most cell types. Its in vitro motile properties have been analyzed extensively and been found to differ considerably from kinesin-1. Although recombinant kinesin-2 heterodimers exhibit processive movement, the processivity of the native kinesin-2 holoenzyme has never been evaluated. Kinesin-2 can interact with dynactin, a 'processivity factor' for cytoplasmic dynein, which may alter its motile properties. In this study, we analyze the in vitro motility of single native kinesin-2 molecules and determine the effects of dynactin on motor processivity. We find that individual native kinesin-2 molecules travel processively. Dynactin has no effect on velocity but significantly increases the run length of kinesin-2 movements. These results show that the interaction with dynactin has important functional consequences on the activity of the kinesin-2 motor.

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