Src kinase phosphoregulation of the human mitotic kinesin, Eg5

  • Rice, Sarah E (PD/PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


This proposal is based on a new finding that Src family kinases (SFKs) phosphorylate human Eg5, an essential mitotic kinesin family motor protein. SFKs are the original, canonical oncogenes and Eg5 is critical for spindle pole separation and stabilization of the mitotic spindle. Both proteins are anti-mitotic drug targets, with inhibitors in Phase I and II trials. Our preliminary data indicates that Src phosphorylates the enzymatic Eg5 heads at three tyrosines in vitro and in cells. These tyrosines are structurally very near the binding sites for Eg5 inhibitors. Our preliminary data also show that phosphomimetic mutations inhibit Eg5 activity and block the binding of an Eg5 inhibitor, STLC. We hypothesize that SFK phosphorylation of Eg5 heads alters Eg5 activity, localization, and action in bipolar spindle assembly and maintenance. We further hypothesize that SFK phosphorylation blocks the binding of several Eg5-targeted inhibitors. To begin our study, we will determine the mechanistic effects of SFK phosphorylation in vitro. We will develop functional phosphomimetic mutants and phospho-specific antibodies for the SFK sites in Eg5 heads. Next, we will examine the effects of SFK phosphoregulation of Eg5 on the progression of mitosis in fixed and live LLC-PK1 cells. We will develop new methods and cell lines for imaging the effects of SFK phosphorylation on mitotic targets, which will enable researchers to address the neglected issue of SFK activity in mitosis for any target of choice. The final aim of this study is to test whether SFK phosphorylation directly affects Eg5 inhibitor binding and efficacy in vitro and in cells. These experiments will be a first step in evaluating a potential combination therapy regimen targeting SFKs and Eg5.
Effective start/end date9/30/135/31/16


  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences (5R01GM107209-03)


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