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Kinetochores are proteinaceous assemblies that mediate the interaction of chromosomes with the mitotic spindle. The 180 kDa Ndc80 complex is a direct point of contact between kinetochores and microtubules. Its four subunits contain coiled coils and form an elongated rod structure with functional globular domains at either end. We crystallized an engineered(More)
Growing microtubule ends serve as transient binding platforms for essential proteins that regulate microtubule dynamics and their interactions with cellular substructures. End-binding proteins (EBs) autonomously recognize an extended region at growing microtubule ends with unknown structural characteristics and then recruit other factors to the dynamic end(More)
BACKGROUND Utrophin is a large multidomain protein that belongs to a superfamily of actin-binding proteins, which includes dystrophin, alpha-actinin, beta-spectrin, fimbrin, filamin and plectin. All the members of this family contain a common actin-binding region at their N termini and perform a wide variety of roles associated with the actin cytoskeleton.(More)
Neurons undertake an amazing journey from the center of the developing mammalian brain to the outer layers of the cerebral cortex. Doublecortin, a component of the microtubule cytoskeleton, is essential in postmitotic neurons and was identified because its mutation disrupts human brain development. Doublecortin stabilizes microtubules and stimulates their(More)
Whereas most kinesins motor along microtubules, KinI kinesins are microtubule depolymerizing machines. Surprisingly, we found that a KinI fragment consisting of only the motor core is capable of ATP-dependent depolymerization. The motor binds along microtubules in all nucleotide states, but in the presence of AMPPNP, microtubule depolymerization also(More)
With their ability to depolymerize microtubules (MTs), KinI kinesins are the rogue members of the kinesin family. Here we present the 1.6 A crystal structure of a KinI motor core from Plasmodium falciparum, which is sufficient for depolymerization in vitro. Unlike all published kinesin structures to date, nucleotide is not present, and there are noticeable(More)
Kinesins are a superfamily of microtubule-based ATP-powered motors, important for multiple, essential cellular functions. How microtubule binding stimulates their ATPase and controls force generation is not understood. To address this fundamental question, we visualized microtubule-bound kinesin-1 and kinesin-3 motor domains at multiple steps in their(More)
Utrophin and dystrophin link cytoskeletal F-actin filaments to the plasmalemma. Genetic strategies to replace defective dystrophin with utrophin in individuals with muscular dystrophy requires full characterization of these proteins. Both contain homologous N-terminal actin-binding motifs composed of a pair of calponin-homology (CH) domains (CH1 and CH2)(More)
Microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) are essential for regulating and organizing cellular microtubules (MTs). However, our mechanistic understanding of MAP function is limited by a lack of detailed structural information. Using cryo-electron microscopy and single particle algorithms, we solved the 8 Å structure of doublecortin (DCX)-stabilized MTs.(More)
Doublecortin (Dcx) defines a growing family of microtubule (MT)-associated proteins (MAPs) involved in neuronal migration and process outgrowth. We show that Dcx is essential for the function of Kif1a, a kinesin-3 motor protein that traffics synaptic vesicles. Neurons lacking Dcx and/or its structurally conserved paralogue, doublecortin-like kinase 1(More)