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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011 Jan;1813(1):269-81. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2010.10.011. Epub 2010 Oct 27.

N-acetylglucosamine transferase is an integral component of a kinesin-directed mitochondrial trafficking complex.

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School of Pharmacy, University of London, 29/39 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AX, UK.


Trafficking kinesin proteins (TRAKs) 1 and 2 are kinesin-associated proteins proposed to function in excitable tissues as adaptors in anterograde trafficking of cargoes including mitochondria. They are known to associate with N-acetylglucosamine transferase and the mitochondrial rho GTPase, Miro. We used confocal imaging, Förster resonance energy transfer and immunoprecipitations to investigate association between TRAKs1/2, N-acetylglucosamine transferase, the prototypic kinesin-1, KIF5C, and Miro. We demonstrate that in COS-7 cells, N-acetylglucosamine transferase, KIF5C and TRAKs1/2 co-distribute. Förster resonance energy transfer was observed between N-acetylglucosamine transferase and TRAKs1/2. Despite co-distributing with KIF5C and immunoprecipitations demonstrating a TRAK1/2, N-acetylglucosamine transferase and KIF5C ternary complex, no Förster resonance energy transfer was detected between N-acetylglucosamine transferase and KIF5C. KIF5C, N-acetylglucosamine transferase, TRAKs1/2 and Miro formed a quaternary complex. The presence of N-acteylglucosamine transferase partially prevented redistribution of mitochondria induced by trafficking proteins 1/2 and KIF5C. TRAK2 was a substrate for N-acetylglucosamine transferase with TRAK2 (S562) identified as a site of O-N-acetylglucosamine modification. These findings substantiate trafficking kinesin proteins as scaffolds for the formation of a multi-component complex involved in anterograde trafficking of mitochondria. They further suggest that O-glycosylation may regulate complex formation.

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