Publication Date



PLOS Pathogens


The early branching eukaryote Trypanosoma brucei divides uni-directionally along the longitudinal cell axis from the cell anterior toward the cell posterior, and the cleavage furrow ingresses along the cell division plane between the new and the old flagella of a dividing bi-flagellated cell. Regulation of cytokinesis in T. brucei involves actomyosin-independent machineries and trypanosome-specific signaling pathways, but the molecular mechanisms underlying cell division plane positioning remain poorly understood. Here we report a kinesin-13 family protein, KIN13-5, that functions downstream of FPRC in the cytokinesis regulatory pathway and determines cell division plane placement. KIN13-5 localizes to multiple cytoskeletal structures, interacts with FPRC, and depends on FPRC for localization to the site of cytokinesis initiation. Knockdown of KIN13-5 causes loss of microtubule bundling at both ends of the cell division plane, leading to mis-placement of the cleavage furrow and unequal cytokinesis, and at the posterior cell tip, causing the formation of a blunt posterior. In vitro biochemical assays demonstrate that KIN13-5 bundles microtubules, providing mechanistic insights into the role of KIN13-5 in cytokinesis and posterior morphogenesis. Altogether, KIN13-5 promotes microtubule bundle formation to ensure cleavage furrow placement and to maintain posterior cytoskeleton morphology in T. brucei.


Cytokinesis, Trypanosoma brucei brucei, Kinesins, Cytoskeleton, Microtubules, Morphogenesis, Protozoan Proteins



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