Journal Club – May 2020

Spiraling Kinesins, Small Molecule Degraders, and Foldable Actin Networks


Kinesin-14 Motors Drive a Right-Handed Helical Motion of Antiparallel Microtubules Around Each Other

Mitra et al.  |  Diez Lab  |  Nature Communications Kinesin motor proteins that simultaneously bind two microtubules aid in remodeling cytoskeletal networks by sliding microtubules along one another. Microtubules can slide together or apart depending on filament organization and kinesin directionality. Here, the Diez lab reimagines the traditional microtubule sliding assay to study the phenomenon in 3 dimensions, and find that kinesins with a sideways pitch in their step can spiral microtubules around one another. The authors note that such helical rotation may be important for avoiding roadblocks and generating torque within cytoskeletal architectures including the mitotic spindle.


Actin Mutations and Their Role in Disease

Parker, Baboolal, and Peckham  |  International Journal of Medical Sciences A review of disease-inducing mutations in the six actin genes of the human genome.

Journal Club Picks (find us in the methods section)

  • CLASP proteins patch holes in the microtubule lattice. Aher et al.  | Akhmanova Lab  |  Current Biology
  • Meiotic spindles scale in size with species-specific tubulin dynamics. Hirst et al.  | Reber Lab  |  Current Biology
  • Tubulin evades targeting by small molecule degraders – an emerging drug mechanism. Gasic, Groendyke et al.  | Gray and Mitchison Labs  |  Cells
  • Cells with differing karyotypes adopt distinct resistance mechanisms to CENP-E inhibitors. Pisa, Phua, and Kapoor  | Kapoor Lab  |  Cell Chemical Biology
  • Embedded within the center of the γ-tubulin ring complex is a single actin monomer. Consolati et al.  | Surrey Lab  |  Developmental Cell
  • A “foldable” actin network acts as a shock absorber to protect stretched axons. Dubey et al.  | Callan-Jones and Pullarkat Labs  |  eLife
  • A powerful screening approach reveals a novel factor in driving filopodial formation. Jarsch et al.  | Gallop Lab  |  Journal of Cell Biology
  • Disordered tubulin tails slow the diffusion of proteins along microtubules. Bigman and Levy  | Levy Lab  |  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Our opinions are our own and do not represent the views or endorsement of the authors cited.

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