Analysis of the interaction of the Eg5 Loop5 with the nucleotide site

Timothy D. Harrington, Nariman Naber, Adam G. Larson, Roger Cooke, Sarah E. Rice, Edward Pate*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Loop 5 (L5) is a conserved loop that projects from the α2-helix adjacent to the nucleotide site of all kinesin-family motors. L5 is critical to the function of the mitotic kinesin-5 family motors and is the binding site for several kinesin-5 inhibitors that are currently in clinical trials. Its conformational dynamics and its role in motor function are not fully understood. Our previous work using EPR spectroscopy suggested that L5 alters the nucleotide pocket conformation of the kinesin-5 motor Eg5 (Larson et al., 2010). EPR spectra of a spin-labeled nucleotide analog bound at the nucleotide site of Eg5 display a highly immobilized component that is absent if L5 is shortened or if the inhibitor STLC is added (Larson et al., 2010), which X-ray structures suggest stabilizes an L5 conformation pointing away from the nucleotide site. These data, coupled with the proximity of L5 to the nucleotide site suggest L5 could interact with a bound nucleotide, modulating function. Here we use molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of Eg5 to explore the interaction of L5 with the nucleotide site in greater detail. We performed MD simulations in which the L5-domain of the Eg5·ADP X-ray structure was manually deformed via backbone bond rotations. The L5-domain of Eg5 was sufficiently lengthy that portions of L5 could be located in proximity to bound ADP. The MD simulations evolved to thermodynamically stable structures at 300. K showing that L5 can interact directly with bound nucleotide with significant impingement on the ribose hydroxyls, consistent with the EPR spectroscopy results. Taken together, these data provide support for the hypothesis that L5 modulates Eg5 function via interaction with the nucleotide-binding site.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-115
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 21 2011


  • EPR spectroscopy
  • Kinesin-5
  • Molecular dynamics simulation
  • Nucleotide-analog spin probes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation


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