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1.  Effective killing of the human pathogen Candida albicans by a specific inhibitor of non-essential mitotic kinesin Kip1p 
Molecular Microbiology  2007;65(2):347-362.
Kinesins from the bipolar (Kinesin-5) family are conserved in eukaryotic organisms and play critical roles during the earliest stages of mitosis to mediate spindle pole body separation and formation of a bipolar mitotic spindle. To date, genes encoding bipolar kinesins have been reported to be essential in all organisms studied. We report the characterization of CaKip1p, the sole member of this family in the human pathogenic yeast Candida albicans. C. albicans Kip1p appears to localize to the mitotic spindle and loss of CaKip1p function interferes with normal progression through mitosis. Inducible excision of CaKIP1 revealed phenotypes unique to C. albicans, including viable homozygous Cakip1 mutants and an aberrant spindle morphology in which multiple spindle poles accumulate in close proximity to each other. Expression of the C. albicans Kip1 motor domain in Escherichia coli produced a protein with microtubule-stimulated ATPase activity that was inhibited by an aminobenzothiazole (ABT) compound in an ATP-competitive fashion. This inhibition results in ‘rigor-like’, tight association with microtubules in vitro. Upon treatment of C. albicans cells with the ABT compound, cells were killed, and terminal phenotype analysis revealed an aberrant spindle morphology similar to that induced by loss of the CaKIP1 gene. The ABT compound discovered is the first example of a fungal spindle inhibitor targeted to a mitotic kinesin. Our results also show that the non-essential nature and implementation of the bipolar motor in C. albicans differs from that seen in other organisms, and suggest that inhibitors of a non-essential mitotic kinesin may offer promise as cidal agents for antifungal drug discovery.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2007.05787.x
PMCID: PMC1976386  PMID: 17573815
2.  Saccharomyces cerevisiae Mob1p Is Required for Cytokinesis and Mitotic Exit 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2001;21(20):6972-6983.
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae mitotic exit network (MEN) is a conserved set of genes that mediate the transition from mitosis to G1 by regulating mitotic cyclin degradation and the inactivation of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK). Here, we demonstrate that, in addition to mitotic exit, S. cerevisiae MEN gene MOB1 is required for cytokinesis and cell separation. The cytokinesis defect was evident in mob1 mutants under conditions in which there was no mitotic-exit defect. Observation of live cells showed that yeast myosin II, Myo1p, was present in the contractile ring at the bud neck but that the ring failed to contract and disassemble. The cytokinesis defect persisted for several mitotic cycles, resulting in chains of cells with correctly segregated nuclei but with uncontracted actomyosin rings. The cytokinesis proteins Cdc3p (a septin), actin, and Iqg1p/ Cyk1p (an IQGAP-like protein) appeared to correctly localize in mob1 mutants, suggesting that MOB1 functions subsequent to actomyosin ring assembly. We also examined the subcellular distribution of Mob1p during the cell cycle and found that Mob1p first localized to the spindle pole bodies during mid-anaphase and then localized to a ring at the bud neck just before and during cytokinesis. Localization of Mob1p to the bud neck required CDC3, MEN genes CDC5, CDC14, CDC15, and DBF2, and spindle pole body gene NUD1 but was independent of MYO1. The localization of Mob1p to both spindle poles was abolished in cdc15 and nud1 mutants and was perturbed in cdc5 and cdc14 mutants. These results suggest that the MEN functions during the mitosis-to-G1 transition to control cyclin-CDK inactivation and cytokinesis.
doi:10.1128/MCB.21.20.6972-6983.2001
PMCID: PMC99873  PMID: 11564880
3.  Kinesin-related KIP3 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Is Required for a Distinct Step in Nuclear Migration  
The Journal of Cell Biology  1997;138(5):1023-1040.
Spindle orientation and nuclear migration are crucial events in cell growth and differentiation of many eukaryotes. Here we show that KIP3, the sixth and final kinesin-related gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is required for migration of the nucleus to the bud site in preparation for mitosis. The position of the nucleus in the cell and the orientation of the mitotic spindle was examined by microscopy of fixed cells and by time-lapse microscopy of individual live cells. Mutations in KIP3 and in the dynein heavy chain gene defined two distinct phases of nuclear migration: a KIP3-dependent movement of the nucleus toward the incipient bud site and a dynein-dependent translocation of the nucleus through the bud neck during anaphase. Loss of KIP3 function disrupts the unidirectional movement of the nucleus toward the bud and mitotic spindle orientation, causing large oscillations in nuclear position. The oscillatory motions sometimes brought the nucleus in close proximity to the bud neck, possibly accounting for the viability of a kip3 null mutant. The kip3 null mutant exhibits normal translocation of the nucleus through the neck and normal spindle pole separation kinetics during anaphase. Simultaneous loss of KIP3 and kinesin-related KAR3 function, or of KIP3 and dynein function, is lethal but does not block any additional detectable movement. This suggests that the lethality is due to the combination of sequential and possibly overlapping defects. Epitope-tagged Kip3p localizes to astral and central spindle microtubules and is also present throughout the cytoplasm and nucleus.
PMCID: PMC2136764  PMID: 9281581

Results 1-3 (3)