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  1. Kinesin motor proteins perform several essential cellular functions powered by the adenosine triphosphate (ATP) hydrolysis reaction. Several single-point mutations in the kinesin motor protein KIF5A have been implicated to hereditary spastic paraplegia disease (HSP), a lethal neurodegenerative disease in humans. In earlier studies, we have shown that a series of HSP-related mutations can impair the kinesin’s long-distance displacement or processivity by modulating the order–disorder transition of the linker connecting the heads to the coiled coil. On the other hand, the reduction of kinesin’s ATP hydrolysis reaction rate by a distal asparagine-to-serine mutation is also known to cause HSP disease. However, the molecular mechanism of the ATP hydrolysis reaction in kinesin by this distal mutation is still not fully understood. Using classical molecular dynamics simulations combined with quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics calculations, the pre-organization geometry required for optimal hydrolysis in kinesin motor bound to α/β-tubulin is determined. This optimal geometry has only a single salt-bridge (of the possible two) between Arg203-Glu236, putting a reactive water molecule at a perfect position for hydrolysis. Such geometry is also needed to create the appropriate configuration for proton translocation during ATP hydrolysis. The distal asparagine-to-serine mutation is found to disrupt this optimal geometry. Therefore, the currentmore »study along with our previous one demonstrates how two different effects on kinesin dynamics (processivity and ATP hydrolysis), caused by a different set of genotypes, can give rise to the same phenotype leading to HSP disease.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 3, 2024
  2. Propofol is a widely used general anesthetic to induce and maintain anesthesia, and its effects are thought to occur through impact on the ligand-gated channels including the GABAAreceptor. Propofol also interacts with a large number of proteins including molecular motors and inhibits kinesin processivity, resulting in significant decrease in the run length for conventional kinesin-1 and kinesin-2. However, the molecular mechanism by which propofol achieves this outcome is not known. The structural transition in the kinesin neck-linker region is crucial for its processivity. In this study, we analyzed the effect of propofol and its fluorine derivative (fropofol) on the transition in the neck-linker region of kinesin. Propofol binds at two crucial surfaces in the leading head: one at the microtubule-binding interface and the other in the neck-linker region. We observed in both the cases the order–disorder transition of the neck-linker was disrupted and kinesin lost its signal for forward movement. In contrast, there was not an effect on the neck-linker transition with propofol binding at the trailing head. Free-energy calculations show that propofol at the microtubule-binding surface significantly reduces the microtubule-binding affinity of the kinesin head. While propofol makes pi–pi stacking and H-bond interactions with the propofol binding cavity, fropofolmore »is unable to make a suitable interaction at this binding surface. Therefore, the binding affinity of fropofol is much lower compared to propofol. Hence, this study provides a mechanism by which propofol disrupts kinesin processivity and identifies transitions in the ATPase stepping cycle likely affected.

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