Pathogenic mutations in the chromokinesin KIF22 disrupt anaphase chromosome segregation

Alex F. Thompson, Patrick R. Blackburn, Noah S. Arons, Sarah N. Stevens, Dusica Babovic-Vuksanovic, Jane B. Lian, Eric W. Klee, Jason K. Stumpff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The chromokinesin KIF22 generates forces that contribute to mitotic chromosome congression and alignment. Mutations in the α2 helix of the motor domain of KIF22 have been identified in patients with abnormal skeletal development, and we report the identification of a patient with a novel mutation in the KIF22 tail. We demonstrate that pathogenic mutations do not result in a loss of KIF22’s functions in early mitosis. Instead, mutations disrupt chromosome segregation in anaphase, resulting in reduced proliferation, abnormal daughter cell nuclear morphology, and, in a subset of cells, cytokinesis failure. This phenotype could be explained by a failure of KIF22 to inactivate in anaphase. Consistent with this model, constitutive activation of the motor via a known site of phosphoregulation in the tail phenocopied the effects of pathogenic mutations. These results suggest the motor domain α2 helix may be an important site for regulation of KIF22 activity at the metaphase to anaphase transition. In support of this conclusion, mimicking phosphorylation of α2 helix residue T158 also prevents inactivation of KIF22 in anaphase. These findings demonstrate the importance of both the head and tail of the motor in regulating the activity of KIF22 and offer insight into the cellular consequences of preventing KIF22 inactivation and disrupting force balance in anaphase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere78653
StatePublished - Jun 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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