Microtubules (MTs) play critical roles in various cellular events, including cell migration. End-binding proteins (EBs) accumulate at the ends of growing MTs and regulate MT end dynamics by recruiting other plus end-tracking proteins (+TIPs). However, how EBs contribute to MT dynamics through +TIPs remains elusive. We focused on tau-tubulin kinase 2 (TTBK2) as an EB1/3-binding kinase and confirmed that TTBK2 acted as a +TIP. We identified MT-depolymerizing kinesin KIF2A as a novel substrate of TTBK2. TTBK2 phosphorylated KIF2A at S135 in intact cells in an EB1/3-dependent fashion and inactivated its MT-depolymerizing activity in vitro. TTBK2 depletion reduced MT lifetime (facilitated shrinkage and suppressed rescue) and impaired HeLa cell migration, and these phenotypes were partially restored by KIF2A co-depletion. Expression of nonphosphorylatable KIF2A, but not wild-type KIF2A, reduced MT lifetime and slowed down the cell migration. These findings indicate that TTBK2 with EB1/3 phosphorylates KIF2A and antagonizes KIF2A-induced depolymerization at MT plus ends for cell migration.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology