NACK kinesin is required for metaphase chromosome alignment and cytokinesis in the moss Physcomitrella patens. Academic Article uri icon


  • The NACK kinesins (NACK1, NACK2 in tobacco and AtNACK1/HINKEL, AtNACK2/STUD/TETRASPORE in Arabidopsis), members of a plant-specific kinesin-7 family, are required for cytokinesis. Previous studies using tobacco and Arabidopsis cells showed that NACK1 and AtNACK1 at the phragmoplast midzone activate the MAP kinase cascade during the late M phase, which is critical for the cell plate formation. However, the loss-of-function phenotype has not been investigated in details in living cells and the molecular activity of this kinesin remains to be determined. Here, we report the mitotic roles and activity of the NACK kinesins in the moss Physcomitrella patens. When we simultaneously knocked down three PpNACKs by RNA-interference (RNAi) in protonemal cells, we observed a cytokinesis failure following a defect in phragmoplast expansion. In addition, misaligned chromosomes were frequently detected in the pre-anaphase spindle and the anaphase onset was significantly delayed, indicating that PpNACK also plays a role in pre-anaphase. Consistent with the appearance of early and late mitotic phenotypes, endogenous PpNACK was localised to the interpolar microtubule (MT) overlap from prometaphase through telophase. In vitro MT gliding assay and single motor motility assay showed that PpNACK-b is a processive, plus-end-directed motor, suggesting that PpNACK is capable of transporting cargoes along the spindle/phragmoplast MT. Our study using Physcomitrella patens demonstrated that PpNACK is an active motor protein and identified unexpected and conserved roles of PpNACK during the mitosis of P. patens.

publication date

  • 2015