n. (context protein English) A heterodimeric protein which functions to sever microtubules
Katanin is a microtubule-severing AAA protein. It is named after the Japanese sword, katana. Katanin is a heterodimeric protein first discovered in sea urchins. It contains a 60 kDa ATPase subunit, encoded by KATNA1, which functions to sever microtubules. This subunit requires ATP and the presence of microtubules for activation. The second 80 kDA subunit, encoded by KATNB1, regulates the activity of the ATPase and localizes the protein to centrosomes. Electron microscopy shows that katanin forms 14–16 nm rings in its active oligomerized state on the walls of microtubules.