KIF1A is kinetically tuned to be a superengaging motor under hindering loads

Serapion Pyrpassopoulos, Allison M. Gicking, Taylor M. Zaniewski, William O. Hancock, E. Michael Ostap

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KIF1A is a highly processive vesicle transport motor in the kinesin-3 family. Mutations in KIF1A lead to neurodegenerative diseases including hereditary spastic paraplegia. We applied optical tweezers to study the ability of KIF1A to generate and sustain force against hindering loads. We used both the three-bead assay, where force is oriented parallel to the microtubule, and the traditional single-bead assay, where force is directed along the radius of the bead, resulting in a vertical force component. The average force and attachment duration of KIF1A in the three-bead assay were substantially greater than those observed in the single-bead assay. Thus, vertical forces accelerate termination of force ramps of KIF1A. Average KIF1A termination forces were slightly lower than the kinesin-1 KIF5B, and the median attachment duration of KIF1A was >10-fold shorter than KIF5B under hindering loads. KIF1A rapidly reengages with microtubules after detachment, as observed previously. Strikingly, quantification enabled by the three-bead assay shows that reengagement largely occurs within 2 ms of detachment, indicating that KIF1A has a nearly 10-fold faster reengagement rate than KIF5B. We found that rapid microtubule reengagement is not due to KIF1A’s positively charged loop-12; however, removal of charge from this loop diminished the unloaded run length at near physiological ionic strength. Both loop-12 and the microtubule nucleotide state have modulatory effects on reengagement under load, suggesting a role for the microtubule lattice in KIF1A reengagement. Our results reveal adaptations of KIF1A that lead to a model of superengaging transport under load.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2216903120
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 10 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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