GAKIN, a novel kinesin-like protein associates with the human homologue of the Drosophila discs large tumor suppressor in T lymphocytes.
Reorganization of the cortical cytoskeleton is a hallmark of T lymphocyte activation. Upon binding to antigen presenting cells, the T cells rapidly undergo cytoskeletal re-organization thus forming a cap at the cell-cell contact site leading to receptor clustering, protein segregation, and cellular polarization. Previously, we reported cloning of the human lymphocyte homologue of the Drosophila Discs Large tumor suppressor protein (hDlg). Here we show that a novel protein termed GAKIN binds to the guanylate kinase-like domain of hDlg. Affinity protein purification, peptide sequencing, and cloning of GAKIN cDNA from Jurkat J77 lymphocytes identified GAKIN as a novel member of the kinesin superfamily of motor proteins. GAKIN mRNA is ubiquitously expressed, and the predicted amino acid sequence shares significant sequence similarity with the Drosophila kinesin-73 motor protein. GAKIN sequence contains a motor domain at the NH(2) terminus, a central stalk domain, and a putative microtubule-interacting sequence called the CAP-Gly domain at the COOH terminus. Among the MAGUK superfamily of proteins examined, GAKIN binds to the guanylate kinase-like domain of PSD-95 but not of p55. The hDlg and GAKIN are localized mainly in the cytoplasm of resting T lymphocytes, however, upon CD2 receptor cross-linking the hDlg can translocate to the lymphocyte cap. We propose that the GAKIN-hDlg interaction lays the foundation for a general paradigm of coupling MAGUKs to the microtubule-based cytoskeleton, and that this interaction may be functionally important for the intracellular trafficking of MAGUKs and associated protein complexes in vivo.