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Coventry, United Kingdom

Cross R.A.,Center for Mechanochemical Cell Biology
Biopolymers | Year: 2016

Kinesins are P-loop NTPases that can do mechanical work. Like small G-proteins, to which they are related, kinesins execute a program of active site conformational changes that cleaves the terminal phosphate from an NTP substrate. But unlike small G-proteins, kinesins can amplify and harness these conformational changes in order to exert force. In this short review I summarize current ideas about how the kinesin active site works and outline how the active site chemistry is coupled to the larger-scale structural cycle of the kinesin motor domain. Focusing largely on kinesin-1, the best-studied kinesin, I discuss how the active site switch machinery of kinesin cycles between three distinct states, how docking of the neck linker stabilizes two of these states, and how tension-sensitive and position-sensitive neck linker docking may modulate both the hydrolysis step of ATP turnover and the trapping of product ADP in the active site. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Source

O'Regan L.,University of Leicester | Sampson J.,University of Leicester | Richards M.W.,University of Leicester | Knebel A.,Kinasource Ltd | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Cell Biology | Year: 2015

Hsp70 proteins represent a family of chaperones that regulate cellular homeostasis and are required for cancer cell survival. However, their function and regulation in mitosis remain unknown. In this paper, we show that the major inducible cytoplasmic Hsp70 isoform, Hsp72, is required for assembly of a robust bipolar spindle capable of efficient chromosome congression. Mechanistically, Hsp72 associates with the K-fiber- stabilizing proteins, ch-TOG and TACC3, and promotes their interaction with each other and recruitment to spindle microtubules (MTs). Targeting of Hsp72 to the mitotic spindle is dependent on phosphorylation at Thr-66 within its nucleotide-binding domain by the Nek6 kinase. Phosphorylated Hsp72 concentrates on spindle poles and sites of MT-kinetochore attachment. A phosphomimetic Hsp72 mutant rescued defects in K-fiber assembly, ch- TOG/TACC3 recruitment and mitotic progression that also resulted from Nek6 depletion. We therefore propose that Nek6 facilitates association of Hsp72 with the mitotic spindle, where it promotes stable K-fiber assembly through recruitment of the ch-TOG-TACC3 complex. © 2015 O'Regan et al. Source

Drechsler H.,Center for Mechanochemical Cell Biology | McAinsh A.D.,Center for Mechanochemical Cell Biology
Open Biology | Year: 2012

The emergence of eukaryotes around two billion years ago provided new challenges for the chromosome segregation machineries: the physical separation of multiple large and linear chromosomes from the microtubule-organizing centres by the nuclear envelope. In this review, we set out the diverse solutions that eukaryotic cells use to solve this problem, and show how stepping away from 'mainstream' mitosis can teach us much about the mechanisms and mechanics that can drive chromosome segregation. We discuss the evidence for a close functional and physical relationship between membranes, nuclear pores and kinetochores in generating the forces necessary for chromosome segregation during mitosis. © 2012 The Authors. Source

Carter N.J.,Center for Mechanochemical Cell Biology | Cross R.A.,Center for Mechanochemical Cell Biology
Biochemical Society Transactions | Year: 2012

Kinesin-1 is a walking machine that takes ∼8 nm steps along microtubules. Some aspects of the molecular mechanism of walking are now clear, but many are not. In the present paper, we discuss currently controversial points, focusing on the pathways by which kinesin takes occasional backsteps. Backsteps represent failures of the forwards-biasing mechanism. By studying the mechanochemistry of backstepping, one can learn much about the underlying molecular mechanisms responsible for forwards directional bias in the walking action. © The Authors Journal compilation © 2012 Biochemical Society. Source

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