The Kar3 protein (Kar3p), a protein related to kinesin heavy chain, and the Cik1 protein (Cik1p) appear to participate in the same cellular processes in S. cerevisiae. Phenotypic analysis of mutants indicates that both CIK1 and KAR3 participate in spindle formation and karyogamy. In addition, the expression of both genes is induced by pheromone treatment. In vegetatively growing cells, both Cik1::beta-gal and Kar3::beta-gal fusions localize to the spindle pole body (SPB), and after pheromone treatment both fusion proteins localize to the spindle pole body and cytoplasmic microtubules. The dependence of Cik1p and Kar3p localization upon one another was investigated by indirect immunofluorescence of fusion proteins in pheromone-treated cells. The Cik1p::beta-gal fusion does not localize to the SPB or microtubules in a kar3 delta strain, and the Kar3p::beta-gal fusion protein does not localize to microtubule-associated structures in a cik1 delta strain. Thus, these proteins appear to be interdependent for localization to the SPB and microtubules. Analysis by both the two-hybrid system and co-immunoprecipitation experiments indicates that Cik1p and kar3p interact, suggesting that they are part of the same protein complex. These data indicate that interaction between a putative kinesin heavy chain-related protein and another protein can determine the localization of motor activity and thereby affect the functional specificity of the motor complex.

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