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Kinesin-like protein KIF3A is a protein that in humans is encoded by the KIF3A gene.[1][2]


KIF3A is one subunit of the heterotrimeric motor protein, kinesin-2, that was initially isolated from sea urchin egg/embryo cytosol using microtubule affinity purification.[3] This motor consists of two kinesin-related subunits (called KIF3A and KIF3B or 3C in vertebrates) and an associated protein (KAP3), and it transports protein complexes, nucleic acids and organelles towards the "plus" ends of microtubule tracks within cells. Work done in a broad range of eukaryotic cells has revealed that heterotrimeric kinesin-2 is the primary motor protein driving the intra-flagellar transport of tubulins and other axonemal building blocks from the base of the ciliary/flagellar axoneme to their site of assembly at the distal tips.[4] This process is required for cilium assembly/maintenance and cilium-based signalling which play key roles in various cell and developmental processes. For example, in vertebrate embryos, kinesin-2 function is required for cilia-dependent nodal flow and the development of left-right asymmetry.[5]


KIF3A has been shown to interact with MAP3K10.[6]


  1. Whitehead JL, Wang SY, Bost-Usinger L, Hoang E, Frazer KA, Burnside B (November 1999). "Photoreceptor localization of the KIF3A and KIF3B subunits of the heterotrimeric microtubule motor kinesin II in vertebrate retina". Exp. Eye Res. 69 (5): 491–503. doi:10.1006/exer.1999.0724. PMID 10548469.
  2. "Entrez Gene: KIF3A kinesin family member 3A".
  3. Cole DG, Chinn SW, Wedaman KP, Hall K, Vuong T, Scholey JM (November 1993). "Novel heterotrimeric kinesin-related protein purified from sea urchin eggs". Nature. 366 (6452): 268–70. doi:10.1038/366268a0. PMID 8232586.
  4. Rosenbaum JL, Witman GB (November 2002). "Intraflagellar transport". Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 3 (11): 813–25. doi:10.1038/nrm952. PMID 12415299.
  5. Nonaka S, Tanaka Y, Okada Y, Takeda S, Harada A, Kanai Y, Kido M, Hirokawa N (December 1998). "Randomization of left-right asymmetry due to loss of nodal cilia generating leftward flow of extraembryonic fluid in mice lacking KIF3B motor protein". Cell. 95 (6): 829–37. doi:10.1016/S0092-8674(00)81705-5. PMID 9865700.
  6. Nagata K, Puls A, Futter C, Aspenstrom P, Schaefer E, Nakata T, Hirokawa N, Hall A (January 1998). "The MAP kinase kinase kinase MLK2 co-localizes with activated JNK along microtubules and associates with kinesin superfamily motor KIF3". EMBO J. 17 (1): 149–58. doi:10.1093/emboj/17.1.149. PMC 1170366. PMID 9427749.

Further reading