SKM 2023 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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BP: Fachverband Biologische Physik

BP 12: Biopolymers and Biomaterials (joint session BP/CPP)

BP 12.6: Vortrag

Mittwoch, 29. März 2023, 11:00–11:15, TOE 317

Molecular motors from a 3D perspective: how do kinesins organize microtubules? — •Laura Meißner1, Jonas Bosche2, Ludger Santen2, and Stefan Diez1,3,41B CUBE - Center for Molecular Bioengineering, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany — 2Center for Biophysics, Department of Physics, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany — 3Cluster of Excellence Physics of Life, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany — 4Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany

Kinesins are ubiquitous motor proteins that are essential for intracellular transport processes. In addition, several kinesins act within the mitotic spindle by sliding and crosslinking microtubules. Some of those kinesins not only move longitudinally on the microtubule filament but also display an axial component in their motion. So far, the effect of this axial motion on motility and force generation within the mitotic spindle has not been explored deeply. Using a 3D motility assay, we show that the antagonistic motor proteins kinesin-5 and kinesin-14 drive the rotation of microtubules around each other. We characterize their motility parameters, including velocity and pitch. Further, we determine the extension of the motors, which reveals the conformation of the motors in microtubule overlaps. To investigate the rotational force (torque) that the motors could produce during microtubule sliding, we developed a microtubule coiling assay. Here, both kinesin-5 and kinesin-14 bent and coiled microtubules, indicative of the generation of significant torque. We hypothesize that this behavior serves to organize spindle fibers and to provide robustness to the spindle.

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