Kinesin-6 Klp9 plays motor-dependent and -independent roles in collaboration with Kinesin-5 Cut7 and the microtubule crosslinker Ase1 in fission yeast
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Bipolar mitotic spindles play a critical part in accurate chromosome segregation. During late mitosis, spindle microtubules undergo drastic elongation in a process called anaphase B. Two kinesin motors, Kinesin-5 and Kinesin-6, are thought to generate outward forces to drive spindle elongation, and the microtubule crosslinker Ase1/PRC1 maintains structural integrity of antiparallel microtubules. However, how these three proteins orchestrate this process remains unknown. Here we explore the functional interplay among fission yeast Kinesin-5/Cut7, Kinesin-6/Klp9 and Ase1. Using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, we show that Klp9 forms homotetramers and that Klp9 is a processive plus end-directed motor. klp9Δase1Δ is synthetically lethal. Surprisingly, this lethality is not ascribable to the defective motor activity of Klp9; instead, it is dependent upon a nuclear localisation signal and coiled coil domains within the non-motor region. We isolated a cut7 mutant (cut7-122) that displays temperature sensitivity only in the absence of Klp9. Interestingly, cut7-122 alone is impaired in spindle elongation during anaphase B, and furthermore, cut7-122klp9Δ double mutants exhibit additive defects. We propose that Klp9 plays dual roles during anaphase B; one is motor-dependent that collaborates with Cut7 in force generation, while the other is motor-independent that ensures structural integrity of spindle microtubules together with Ase1.
This work was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) (KAKENHI Scientific Research (A) 16H02503 to T.T., a Challenging Exploratory Research grant 16K14672 to T.T., Scientific Research (C) 16K07694 to M.Y., Scientific Research (C) 15KT0155 to K.F. and Grantin-Aid for Scientific Research on Innovative Areas 18H05420 to K.F.), the Naito Foundation (T.T.) and the Uehara Memorial Foundation (T.T.).
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