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FEBS J. 2012 Apr;279(7):1339-52. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-4658.2012.08528.x. Epub 2012 Mar 5.

Effect of Ca2+ on the microtubule-severing enzyme p60-katanin. Insight into the substrate-dependent activation mechanism.

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Department of Molecular Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.


Katanin p60 (p60-katanin) is a microtubule (MT)-severing enzyme and its activity is regulated by the p80 subunit (adaptor-p80). p60-katanin consists of an N-terminal domain, followed by a single ATPase associated with various cellular activities (AAA) domain. We have previously shown that the N-terminal domain serves as the binding site for MT, the substrate of p60-katanin. In this study, we show that the same domain shares another interface with the C-terminal domain of adaptor-p80. We further show that Ca(2+) ions inhibit the MT-severing activity of p60-katanin, whereas the MT-binding activity is preserved in the presence of Ca(2+). In detail, the basal ATPase activity of p60-katanin is stimulated twofold by both MTs and the C-terminal domain of adaptor-p80, whereas Ca(2+) reduces elevated ATPase activity to the basal level. We identify the Ca(2+) -binding site at the end of helix 2 of the N-terminal domain, which is different from the MT-binding interface. On the basis of these observations, we propose a speculative model in which spatial rearrangement of the N-terminal domain relative to the C-terminal AAA domain may be important for productive ATP hydrolysis towards MT-severing. Our model can explain how Ca(2+) regulates both severing and ATP hydrolysis activity, because the Ca(2+) -binding site on the N-terminal domain moves close to the AAA domain during MT severing.

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