The family-specific α4-helix of the kinesin-13, MCAK, is critical to microtubule end recognition

  • Jennifer T. Patel, Hannah R. Belsham, Alexandra J. Rathbone, Bill Wickstead, Christopher Gell, Claire T. Friel
  • Open Biology, October 2016, Royal Society Publishing
  • DOI: 10.1098/rsob.160223

Microtubule end recognition by the kinesin-13 MCAK

What is it about?

Microtubules are long slender polymers of the protein tubulin found within cells. The ability of microtubules to assemble and disassemble allows them to form structures required temporarily by cells, such as the apparatus to separate duplicate chromosomes in cell division. Certain members of the superfamily of microtubule associated proteins called kinesins control microtubule growth and shrinkage. These microtubule-regulating kinesins need to know when they are at the microtubule end, as this is where both growth and shrinkage occur. This work highlights regions of the microtubule depolymerising kinesin, MCAK, that are crucial to recognition of the microtubule end.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Claire T Friel