Microtubule-associated protein-like binding of the kinesin-1 tail to microtubules

Mark A. Seeger, Sarah E. Rice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The kinesin-1 molecular motor contains an ATP-dependent microtubule-binding site in its N-terminal head domain and an ATP-independent microtubule-binding site in its C-terminal tail domain. Here we demonstrate that a kinesin-1 tail fragment associates with microtubules with submicromolar affinity. Binding is largely electrostatic in nature, and is facilitated by a region of basic amino acids in the tail and the acidic E-hook at the C terminus of tubulin. The tail binds to a site on tubulin that is independent of the head domain-binding site but overlaps with the binding site of the microtubule-associated protein Tau. Surprisingly, the kinesin tail domain stimulates microtubule assembly and stability in a manner similar to Tau. The biological function of this strong kinesin tail-microtubule interaction remains to be seen, but it is likely to play an important role in kinesin regulation due to the close proximity of the microtubule-binding region to the conserved regulatory and cargo-binding domains of the tail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8155-8162
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 12 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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