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J Biol Chem. 2010 May 28;285(22):16822-9. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.108365. Epub 2010 Mar 25.

A common substrate recognition mode conserved between katanin p60 and VPS4 governs microtubule severing and membrane skeleton reorganization.

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Department of Molecular Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Kyoto-Daigaku Katsura, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 615-8530, Japan.


Katanin p60 (kp60), a microtubule-severing enzyme, plays a key role in cytoskeletal reorganization during various cellular events in an ATP-dependent manner. We show that a single domain isolated from the N terminus of mouse katanin p60 (kp60-NTD) binds to tubulin. The solution structure of kp60-NTD was determined by NMR. Although their sequence similarities were as low as 20%, the structure of kp60-NTD revealed a striking similarity to those of the microtubule interacting and trafficking (MIT) domains, which adopt anti-parallel three-stranded helix bundle. In particular, the arrangement of helices 2 and 3 is well conserved between kp60-NTD and the MIT domain from Vps4, which is a homologous protein that promotes disassembly of the endosomal sorting complexes required for transport III membrane skeleton complex. Mutation studies revealed that the positively charged surface formed by helices 2 and 3 binds tubulin. This binding mode resembles the interaction between the MIT domain of Vps4 and Vps2/CHMP1a, a component of endosomal sorting complexes required for transport III. Our results show that both the molecular architecture and the binding modes are conserved between two AAA-ATPases, kp60 and Vps4. A common mechanism is evolutionarily conserved between two distinct cellular events, one that drives microtubule severing and the other involving membrane skeletal reorganization.

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