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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Membrane mediated motor kinetics in microtubule gliding assays.

  • Author(s): Lopes, Joseph
  • Quint, David A
  • Chapman, Dail E
  • Xu, Melissa
  • Gopinathan, Ajay
  • Hirst, Linda S
  • et al.

Motor-based transport mechanisms are critical for a wide range of eukaryotic cell functions, including the transport of vesicle cargos over long distances. Our understanding of the factors that control and regulate motors when bound to a lipid substrate is however incomplete. We used microtubule gliding assays on a lipid bilayer substrate to investigate the role of membrane diffusion in kinesin-1 on/off binding kinetics and thereby transport velocity. Fluorescence imaging experiments demonstrate motor clustering on single microtubules due to membrane diffusion in the absence of ATP, followed by rapid ATP-induced dissociation during gliding. Our experimental data combined with analytical modeling show that the on/off binding kinetics of the motors are impacted by diffusion and, as a consequence, both the effective binding and unbinding rates for motors are much lower than the expected bare rates. Our results suggest that motor diffusion in the membrane can play a significant role in transport by impacting motor kinetics and can therefore function as a regulator of intracellular transport dynamics.

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