Getting on the right track: How an adaptor protein decides over the fate of its motor
Dr. Zeynep Ökten, TU München
The timely and correct positioning of intracellular cargo is a prerequisite to proper functioning and survival of all eukaryotic cells. Three types of molecular motors, the microtubule-associated kinesin and dynein along with the actin-associated myosin motors, often coordinate their actions to drive these transport processes. Even though considerable progress has been made on the mechanistic properties of motor proteins, information about how their intricate interplay is regulated remains scarce. We dissected the physiologically relevant actin-based transport complex that coordinates its action with the microtubule-based transport in vivo. Surprisingly, we find that it is the adaptor protein and not the motor that selects the track on the actin/microtubule network in vitro. Our results have important implications for how cells regulate the directionality of transport on the cytoskeleton in vivo.