A pathway of structural changes produced by monastrol binding to Eg5

Zoltan Maliga, Jun Xing, Herbert Cheung, Laura J. Juszczak, Joel M. Friedman, Steven S. Rosenfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Monastrol is a small molecule inhibitor that is specific for Eg5, a member of the kinesin 5 family of mitotic motors. Crystallographic models of Eg5 in the presence and absence of monastrol revealed that drug binding produces a variety of structural changes in the motor, including in loop L5 and the neck linker. What is not clear from static crystallographic models, however, is the sequence of structural changes produced by drug binding. Furthermore, because crystallographic structures can be influenced by the packing forces in the crystal, it also remains unclear whether these drug-induced changes occur in solution, at physiologically active concentrations of monastrol or of other drugs that target this site. We have addressed these issues by using a series of spectroscopic probes to monitor the structural consequences of drug binding. Our results demonstrated that the crystallographic model of an Eg5-ADP-monastrol ternary complex is consistent with several solution-based spectroscopic probes. Furthermore, the kinetics of these spectroscopic signal changes allowed us to determine the temporal sequence of drug-induced structural transitions. These results suggested that L5 may be an element in the pathway that links the state of the nucleotide-binding site to the neck linker in kinesin motors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7977-7982
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 24 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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