In vitro motility of liver connexin vesicles along microtubules utilizes kinesin motors

Alfredo G. Fort, John W. Murray, Nadine Dandachi, Michael W. Davidson, Rolf Dermietzel, Allan W. Wolkoff, David C. Spray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Trafficking of the proteins that form gap junctions (connexins) from the site of synthesis to the junctional domain appears to require cytoskeletal delivery mechanisms. Although many cell types exhibit specific delivery of connexins to polarized cell sites, such as connexin32 (Cx32) gap junctions specifically localized to basolateral membrane domains of hepatocytes, the precise roles of actin- and tubulin-based systems remain unclear. Wehave observed fluorescently tagged Cx32 trafficking linearly at speeds averaging 0.25 μm/s in a polarized hepatocyte cell line (WIF-B9), which is abolished by 50 μM of the microtubule-disrupting agent nocodazole. To explore the involvement of cytoskeletal components in the delivery of connexins, we have used a preparation of isolated Cx32-containing vesicles from rat hepatocytes and assayed their ATP-driven motility along stabilized rhodamine-labeled microtubules in vitro. These assays revealed the presence of Cx32 and kinesin motor proteins in the same vesicles. The addition of 50 μM ATP stimulated vesicle motility along linear microtubule tracks with velocities of 0.4-0.5 μm/s, which was inhibited with 1 mM of the kinesin inhibitor AMP-PNP (adenylyl-imidodiphosphate) and by anti-kinesin antibody but only minimally affected by 5 μM vanadate, a dynein inhibitor, or by anti-dynein antibody. These studies provide evidence that Cx32 can be transported intracellularly along microtubules and presumably to junctional domains in cells and highlight an important role of kinesin motor proteins in microtubule-dependent motility of Cx32.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22875-22885
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jul 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'In vitro motility of liver connexin vesicles along microtubules utilizes kinesin motors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this