Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Distinctions between dynamic characteristics of the single EG5 motor protein along neural vs. cancerous microtubules

Mitra Shojania Feizabadi, Yonggun Jun, J.N. Babu Reddy

The kinesin 5 motor contributes critically to mitosis, and is often upregulated in cancer. In vitro motility studies of kinesin 5 moving along bovine brain microtubules indicate that the motors have limited processivity. Cancer cells have abnormal mitotic behavior, so one might wonder whether the functional properties of kinesin 5 change in such a background. Because there could be multiple unknown changes in cancerous vs normal cells, we chose to address this question in a controlled in vitro environment. Specifically, through a series of parallel experiments along bovine brain vs. breast cancer microtubules, we quantified the in vitro motility characteristics of single Eg5 molecular motors along these two types of microtubules, combining the utilization of an optical trapping technique with a study of motion in the unloaded regime. The obtained values indicate that Eg5 processivity is 40% less along MCF7 microtubules, compared to that measured on bovine brain MTs. Interestingly, not all single-molecule properties are altered, as the velocity of the single motor doesn't show any significant changes on either track, though the binding time along MCF7 microtubules is almost 25% shorter. The current results, in conjunction with our previously reported outcomes of the evaluation of the Eg5's characteristics under external load, show that in transition from no-load to high-load regime, the Eg5 binding time has less sensitivity on MCF7 as compared to bovine brain MTs. This finding is intriguing, as it suggests that, potentially, groups of Eg5 motors function more effectively in the cancer background of a large ensemble, possibly contributing to faster mitosis in cancer cells.

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