Regulation of organelle transport by molecular motors along the cytoskeletal microtubules is central to maintaining cellular functions. Here, we show that the ubiquitous tau-related microtubule-associated protein 4 (MAP4) can bias the bidirectional transport of organelles toward the microtubule minus-ends. This is concurrent with MAP4 phosphorylation, mediated by the kinase GSK3β. We demonstrate that MAP4 achieves this bias by tethering the cargo to the microtubules, allowing it to impair the force generation of the plus-end motor kinesin-1. Consistent with this mechanism, MAP4 physically interacts with dynein and dynactin and, when phosphorylated, associates with the cargo–motor complex through its projection domain. Its phosphorylation coincides with the perinuclear accumulation of organelles, a phenotype that is rescued by abolishing the cargo–microtubule MAP4 tether or by the pharmacological inhibition of dynein, confirming the ability of kinesin to inch along, albeit inefficiently, in the presence of phosphorylated MAP4. These findings have broad biological significance because of the ubiquity of MAP4 and the involvement of GSK3β in multiple diseases, more specifically in cancer, where the MAP4-dependent redistribution of organelles may be prevalent in cancer cells, as we demonstrate here for mitochondria in lung carcinoma epithelial cells.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Oct 11 2022|
- microtubule-associated protein 4
- microtubule-based transport
ASJC Scopus subject areas