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Dev Cell. 2007 Oct;13(4):511-22.

Polarization-dependent selective transport to the apical membrane by KIF5B in MDCK cells.

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Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Weill-Cornell Medical College, 1300 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021, USA.


Microtubule-based vesicular transport is well documented in epithelial cells, but the specific motors involved and their regulation during polarization are largely unknown. We demonstrate that KIF5B mediates post-Golgi transport of an apical protein in epithelial cells, but only after polarity has developed. Time-lapse imaging of EB1-GFP in polarized MDCK cells showed microtubule plus ends growing toward the apical membrane, implying that plus end-directed N-kinesins might be used to transport apical proteins. Indeed, time-lapse microscopy revealed that expression of a KIF5B dominant negative or microinjection of function-blocking KIF5 antibodies inhibited selectively post-Golgi transport of the apical marker, p75-GFP, after polarization of MDCK cells. Expression of other KIF dominant negatives did not alter p75-GFP trafficking. Immunoprecipitation experiments demonstrated an interaction between KIF5B and p75-GFP in polarized, but not in subconfluent, MDCK cells. Our results demonstrate that apical protein transport depends on selective microtubule motors and that epithelial cells switch kinesins for post-Golgi transport during acquisition of polarity.

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