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    Mechanochemical tuning of a kinesin motor essential for malaria parasite transmission

    Liu, T. and Shilliday, F. and Cook, A.D. and Zeeshan, M. and Brady, D. and Tewari, R. and Sutherland, C.J. and Roberts, A.J. and Moores, Carolyn A. (2022) Mechanochemical tuning of a kinesin motor essential for malaria parasite transmission. Nature Communications 13 (6988), ISSN 2041-1723.

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    Plasmodium species cause malaria and kill hundreds of thousands annually. The microtubule-based motor kinesin-8B is required for development of the flagellated Plasmodium male gamete, and its absence completely blocks parasite transmission. To understand the molecular basis of kinesin-8B’s essential role, we characterised the in vitro properties of kinesin-8B motor domains from P. berghei and P. falciparum. Both motors drive ATP-dependent microtubule gliding, but also catalyse ATP-dependent microtubule depolymerisation. We determined these motors’ microtubule-bound structures using cryo-electron microscopy, which showed very similar modes of microtubule interaction in which Plasmodium-distinct sequences at the microtubule-kinesin interface influence motor function. Intriguingly however, P. berghei kinesin-8B exhibits a non-canonical structural response to ATP analogue binding such that neck linker docking is not induced. Nevertheless, the neck linker region is required for motility and depolymerisation activities of these motors. These data suggest that the mechanochemistry of Plasmodium kinesin-8Bs is functionally tuned to support flagella formation.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Cryoelectron microscopy, Cytoskeletal proteins, Parasite biology
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Structural Molecular Biology, Institute of (ISMB)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2022 12:12
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:19


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