Microtubule severing by katanin p60 AAA+ ATPase requires the C-terminal acidic tails of both {alpha}- and {beta}-tubulins and basic amino acid residues in the AAA+ ring pore [Enzymology]

March 24th, 2015 by Johjima, A., Noi, K., Nishikori, S., Ogi, H., Esaki, M., Ogura, T.

The microtubule (MT) network is highly dynamic and undergoes dramatic reorganizations during the cell cycle. Dimers of α- and β-tubulins rapidly polymerize to and depolymerize from the end of MT fibrils in an intrinsic GTP-dependent manner. MT severing by ATP-driven enzymes such as katanin and spastin contributes significantly to microtubule dynamics, and it has been shown that katanin p60, a AAA+ family protein, has ATPase and MT-severing activities. The mechanism of MT severing by katanin p60 is poorly understood, and the residues in katanin p60 and tubulins important for severing activity were therefore explored in this study. A mutation of the conserved aromatic residue or the flanking basic residues in the pore region of the katanin p60 hexameric ring eliminated MT-severing activity but less affected ATPase activity. When the acidic residue-rich C-terminal unstructured segment of either α- or β-tubulin was removed, polymerized MTs were resistant to katanin p60 treatment. Interactions between katanin p60 and the mutant MTs, on the other hand, were unaffected. Taken together, these findings led us to propose that the interactions between the positively charged residues of katanin p60 and the acidic tails of both tubulins are essential for efficient severing of MTs.
  • Posted in Journal of Biological Chemistry, Publications
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