Specific interaction of KIF11 with ZBP1 regulates the transport of β-actin mRNA and cell motility

Tingting Song, Yi Zheng, Yarong Wang, Zachary Katz, Xin Liu, Shaoying Chen, Robert H. Singer, Wei Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


ZBP1-modulated localization of β-actin mRNA enables a cell to establish polarity and structural asymmetry. Although the mechanism of β-actin mRNA localization has been well established, the underlying mechanism of how a specific molecular motor contributes to the transport of the ZBP1 (also known as IGF2BP1) complex in non-neuronal cells remains elusive. In this study, we report the isolation and identification of KIF11, a microtubule motor, which physically interacts with ZBP1 and is a component of β-actin messenger ribonucleoprotein particles (mRNPs). We show that KIF11 colocalizes with the β-actin mRNA, and the ability of KIF11 to transport β-actin mRNA is dependent on ZBP1. We characterize the corresponding regions of ZBP1 and KIF11 that mediate the interaction of the two proteins in vitro and in vivo. Disruption of the in vivo interaction of KIF11 with ZBP1 delocalizes β-actin mRNA and affects cell migration. Our study reveals a molecular mechanism by which a particular microtubule motor mediates the transport of an mRNP through direct interaction with an mRNA-binding protein.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1001-1010
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2015


  • Cell motility
  • Cell polarity
  • KIF11
  • ZBP1
  • mRNA transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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