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Gene Review

klp-11  -  Protein KLP-11

Caenorhabditis elegans

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High impact information on kinesin

  • Unc104 (KIF1A) kinesin transports membrane vesicles along microtubules in lower and higher eukaryotes [1].
  • unc-104 encodes a novel kinesin paralog that may act as a microtubule-based motor in the nervous system [2].
  • C. elegans contains a microtubule binding protein that resembles both dynein and kinesin [3].
  • This property is kinesin-like; however, the motility is blocked by 5 microM vanadate, 1 mM N-ethyl maleimide, 0.5 mM ATP-gamma-S, or by ATP-vanadate-UV cleavage of the 400 kd polypeptide, characteristics that differ from kinesin [3].
  • Here we show that the Caenorhabditis elegans kinesin-related protein VAB-8L, which is necessary and sufficient for posterior cell and growth-cone migrations, directs these migrations by regulating the levels of the guidance receptor SAX-3 (also known as robo) [4].

Biological context of kinesin


Anatomical context of kinesin

  • Using the cho-1 promoter to drive expression of a translational, green fluorescent protein-CHO-1 fusion (CHO-1:GFP) in wild-type and kinesin (unc-104) mutant backgrounds, we establish in the living nematode that the transporter localizes to cholinergic synapses, and likely traffics on synaptic vesicles [10].
  • We previously described a kinesin-dependent movement of particles in the flagella of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii called intraflagellar transport (IFT) (Kozminski, K.G., K.A. Johnson, P. Forscher, and J.L. Rosenbaum. 1993. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 90:5519-5523) [11].
  • Furthermore, to understand whether JNK signaling is involved in kinesin-mediated JSAP1 trafficking, we established stable PC12h cell lines that expressed wild-type JSAP1 or its mutant lacking the JNK-binding domain (JBD) [12].
  • Dense core vesicle dynamics in Caenorhabditis elegans neurons and the role of kinesin UNC-104 [13].
  • Proteins such as UNC-76 that associate with kinesin motors are important in directing neurite extension [14].

Associations of kinesin with chemical compounds

  • Presynaptic localization of this clustering activity requires the neuronal kinesin UNC-104, suggesting that release of GABA from synaptic vesicles may represent the clustering signal [15].

Other interactions of kinesin

  • Although the primary sequence relatedness to kinesin is weak in the remainder of the molecule, the predicted secondary structure and regional isoelectric points are similar to kinesin heavy chain [16].
  • A Caenorhabditis elegans cDNA clone corresponding to the klp-3 gene, encoding a novel kinesin, was isolated, and mapped on LGII [17].
  • vab-8 is a key regulator of posteriorly directed migrations in C. elegans and encodes a novel protein with kinesin motor similarity [18].
  • We propose that kinesin II is a "canonical" IFT motor, whereas OSM-3 is an "accessory" IFT motor, and that subtle changes in the deployment or actions of these IFT kinesins can contribute to differences in cilia morphology, cilia function, and sensory perception [5].
  • The BBS proteins BBS-7 and BBS-8 are required to stabilize complexes of IFT particles containing both of the IFT motors, because IFT particles in bbs-7 and bbs-8 mutants break down into two subcomplexes, IFT-A and IFT-B, which are moved separately by kinesin-II and OSM-3 kinesin, respectively [19].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of kinesin

  • Our sequence analysis of the encoded KLP-11 shows that it shares high homology with the OSM-3 kinesin [20].


  1. Role of phosphatidylinositol(4,5)bisphosphate organization in membrane transport by the Unc104 kinesin motor. Klopfenstein, D.R., Tomishige, M., Stuurman, N., Vale, R.D. Cell (2002) [Pubmed]
  2. Kinesin-related gene unc-104 is required for axonal transport of synaptic vesicles in C. elegans. Hall, D.H., Hedgecock, E.M. Cell (1991) [Pubmed]
  3. Identification of a microtubule-based cytoplasmic motor in the nematode C. elegans. Lye, R.J., Porter, M.E., Scholey, J.M., McIntosh, J.R. Cell (1987) [Pubmed]
  4. C. elegans VAB-8 and UNC-73 regulate the SAX-3 receptor to direct cell and growth-cone migrations. Watari-Goshima, N., Ogura, K., Wolf, F.W., Goshima, Y., Garriga, G. Nat. Neurosci. (2007) [Pubmed]
  5. Functional modulation of IFT kinesins extends the sensory repertoire of ciliated neurons in Caenorhabditis elegans. Evans, J.E., Snow, J.J., Gunnarson, A.L., Ou, G., Stahlberg, H., McDonald, K.L., Scholey, J.M. J. Cell Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  6. A complex containing the Sm protein CAR-1 and the RNA helicase CGH-1 is required for embryonic cytokinesis in Caenorhabditis elegans. Audhya, A., Hyndman, F., McLeod, I.X., Maddox, A.S., Yates, J.R., Desai, A., Oegema, K. J. Cell Biol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  7. Epileptic-like convulsions associated with LIS-1 in the cytoskeletal control of neurotransmitter signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans. Williams, S.N., Locke, C.J., Braden, A.L., Caldwell, K.A., Caldwell, G.A. Hum. Mol. Genet. (2004) [Pubmed]
  8. Contribution of the GTPase domain to the subcellular localization of dynamin in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Labrousse, A.M., Shurland, D.L., van der Bliek, A.M. Mol. Biol. Cell (1998) [Pubmed]
  9. A spindle checkpoint functions during mitosis in the early Caenorhabditis elegans embryo. Encalada, S.E., Willis, J., Lyczak, R., Bowerman, B. Mol. Biol. Cell (2005) [Pubmed]
  10. The Caenorhabditis elegans choline transporter CHO-1 sustains acetylcholine synthesis and motor function in an activity-dependent manner. Matthies, D.S., Fleming, P.A., Wilkes, D.M., Blakely, R.D. J. Neurosci. (2006) [Pubmed]
  11. Chlamydomonas kinesin-II-dependent intraflagellar transport (IFT): IFT particles contain proteins required for ciliary assembly in Caenorhabditis elegans sensory neurons. Cole, D.G., Diener, D.R., Himelblau, A.L., Beech, P.L., Fuster, J.C., Rosenbaum, J.L. J. Cell Biol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  12. Scaffold protein JSAP1 is transported to growth cones of neurites independent of JNK signaling pathways in PC12h cells. Sato, S., Ito, M., Ito, T., Yoshioka, K. Gene (2004) [Pubmed]
  13. Dense core vesicle dynamics in Caenorhabditis elegans neurons and the role of kinesin UNC-104. Zahn, T.R., Angleson, J.K., MacMorris, M.A., Domke, E., Hutton, J.F., Schwartz, C., Hutton, J.C. Traffic (2004) [Pubmed]
  14. Regulators of kinesin involved in polarized trafficking and axon outgrowth. Luo, S., Nonet, M.L. J. Biol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  15. GABA is dispensable for the formation of junctional GABA receptor clusters in Caenorhabditis elegans. Gally, C., Bessereau, J.L. J. Neurosci. (2003) [Pubmed]
  16. The C. elegans unc-104 gene encodes a putative kinesin heavy chain-like protein. Otsuka, A.J., Jeyaprakash, A., García-Añoveros, J., Tang, L.Z., Fisk, G., Hartshorne, T., Franco, R., Born, T. Neuron (1991) [Pubmed]
  17. Molecular cloning and expression of the Caenorhabditis elegans klp-3, an ortholog of C terminus motor kinesins Kar3 and ncd. Khan, M.L., Gogonea, C.B., Siddiqui, Z.K., Ali, M.Y., Kikuno, R., Nishikawa, K., Siddiqui, S.S. J. Mol. Biol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  18. vab-8 is a key regulator of posteriorly directed migrations in C. elegans and encodes a novel protein with kinesin motor similarity. Wolf, F.W., Hung, M.S., Wightman, B., Way, J., Garriga, G. Neuron (1998) [Pubmed]
  19. Functional coordination of intraflagellar transport motors. Ou, G., Blacque, O.E., Snow, J.J., Leroux, M.R., Scholey, J.M. Nature (2005) [Pubmed]
  20. C. elegans KLP-11/OSM-3/KAP-1: orthologs of the sea urchin kinesin-II, and mouse KIF3A/KIFB/KAP3 kinesin complexes. Khan, M.L., Ali, M.Y., Siddiqui, Z.K., Shakir, M.A., Ohnishi, H., Nishikawa, K., Siddiqui, S.S. DNA Res. (2000) [Pubmed]
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