Microtubule binding kinetics of membrane-bound kinesin-1 predicts high motor copy numbers on intracellular cargo

Rui Jiang, Steven Vandal, Soohyun Park, Sheereen Majd, Erkan Tüzel, William O. Hancock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Bidirectional vesicle transport along microtubules is necessary for cell viability and function, particularly in neurons. When multiple motors are attached to a vesicle, the distance a vesicle travels before dissociating is determined by the race between detachment of the bound motors and attachment of the unbound motors. Motor detachment rate constants (koff) can be measured via singlemolecule experiments, but motor reattachment rate constants (kon) are generally unknown, as they involve diffusion through the bilayer, geometrical considerations of the motor tether length, and the intrinsic microtubule binding rate of the motor. To understand the attachment dynamics of motors bound to fluid lipid bilayers, we quantified the microtubule accumulation rate of fluorescently labeled kinesin-1motors in a 2-dimensional (2D) systemwhere motors were linked to a supported lipid bilayer. From the first-order accumulation rate at varying motor densities, we extrapolated a koff that matched single-molecule measurements and measured a 2D kon for membrane-bound kinesin-1 motors binding to the microtubule. This kon is consistent with kinesin-1 being able to reach roughly 20 tubulin subunits when attaching to a microtubule. By incorporating cholesterol to reduce membrane diffusivity, we demonstrate that this kon is not limited by themotor diffusion rate, but instead is determined by the intrinsic motor binding rate. For intracellular vesicle trafficking, this 2D kon predicts that long-range transport of 100-nm-diameter vesicles requires 35 kinesin-1 motors, suggesting that teamwork between different motor classes and motor clustering may play significant roles in long-range vesicle transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26564-26570
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number52
StatePublished - Dec 26 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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