Kinesin superfamily protein UNC-104, a member of the kinesin-3 family, transports synaptic vesicle precursors (SVPs). In this study, the number of active UNC-104 molecules hauling a single SVP in axons in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans was counted by applying a newly developed non-invasive force measurement technique. The distribution of the force acting on a SVP transported by UNC-104 was spread out over several clusters, implying the presence of several force-producing units (FPUs). We then compared the number of FPUs in the wild-type worms with that in arl-8 gene-deletion mutant worms. ARL-8 is a SVP-bound arf-like small guanosine triphosphatase, and is known to promote unlocking of the autoinhibition of the motor, which is critical for avoiding unnecessary consumption of adenosine triphosphate when the motor does not bind to a SVP. There were fewer FPUs in the arl-8 mutant worms. This finding indicates that a lack of ARL-8 decreased the number of active UNC-104 motors, which then led to a decrease in the number of motors responsible for SVP transport.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry