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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Aug 6;93(16):8443-8.

Cloning and characterization of KAP3: a novel kinesin superfamily-associated protein of KIF3A/3B.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.


We previously reported that KIF3A and KIF3B form a heterodimer that functions as a microtubule-based fast anterograde translocator of membranous organelles. We have also shown that this KIF3A/3B forms a complex with other associated polypeptides, named kinesin superfamily-associated protein 3 (KAP3). In the present study, we purified KAP3 protein by immunoprecipitation using anti-KIF3B antibody from mouse testis. Microsequencing was carried out, and we cloned the full-length KAP3 cDNA from a mouse brain cDNA library. Two isoforms of KAP3 exist [KAP3A (793 aa) and KAP3B (772 aa)], generated by alternative splicing in the carboxyl terminus region. Their amino acid sequences have no homology with those of any other known proteins, and prediction of their secondary structure indicated that almost the entire KAP3 molecule is alpha-helical. We produced recombinant KAP3 and KIF3A/3B using a baculovirus-Sf9 expression system. A reconstruction study in Sf9 cells revealed that KAP3 is a globular protein that binds to the tail domain of KIF3A/3B. The immunolocalization pattern of KAP3 was similar to that of KIF3A/3B in nerve cells. In addition, we found that KAP3 does not affect the motor activity of KIF3A/3B. KAP3 was associated with a membrane-bound form of KIF3A/3B in a fractional immunoprecipitation experiment, and since the KIF3 complex was found to bind to membranous organelles in an EM study, KAP3 may regulate membrane binding of the KIF3 complex.

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