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American Society for Cell Biology

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Molecular Biology of the Cell

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Nucleoside diphosphate kinases (NDKs) play a central role in diverse cellular processes using the canonical NDK activity or alternative mechanisms that remain poorly defined. Our study of dimeric NDK5 in a flagellar motility control complex, the radial spoke (RS), has revealed new modalities. The flagella in Chlamydomonas ndk5 mutant were paralyzed, albeit only deficient in three RS subunits. RS morphology appeared severely changed in averaged cryo-electron tomograms, suggesting that NDK5 is crucial for the intact spokehead formation as well as RS structural stability. Intriguingly, ndk5’s flagella were also short, resembling those of an allelic spoke-less mutant. All ndk5’s phenotypes were rescued by expressions of NDK5 or a mutated NDK5 lacking the canonical kinase activity. Importantly, the mutated NDK5 that appeared fully functional in ndk5 cells elicited a dominant-negative effect in wild-type cells, causing paralyzed short flagella with hypophosphorylated, less abundant, but intact RSs, and accumulated hypophosphorylated NDK5 in the cell body. We propose that NDK5 dimer is an RS structural subunit with an additional mechanism that uses cross-talk between the two NDK monomers to accelerate phosphorylation-related assembly of RSs and entire flagella.


Published version. Molecular Biology of the Cell, Vol. 28, No. 22 (November 1, 2017): 2905-3131. DOI. © 2017 Zhu et al.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

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