Cytoskeletal motors

Eukaryotic cells use motor proteins that move along cytoskeletal polymers to transport various intracellular cargos, including membranous organelles, protein complexes and mRNAs. Transport along microtubule filaments is mediated by kinesins (mostly moving towards the fast polymerizing microtubule plus ends) and dyneins (which move towards the microtubule minus ends), whereas myosins transport cargos along actin filaments. Molecular motors convert the chemical energy derived from ATP hydrolysis into mechanical action, and precise spatial and temporal regulation of motor-based transport is essential to ensure efficient cargo delivery. It is therefore not surprising that defects in motor-dependent transport are associated with a large range of diseases, including neurodegeneration, tumorigenesis and developmental defects.

From October 2009, Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology will be publishing a Series of specially commissioned articles on cytoskeletal motors. These articles will highlight the progress made in understanding the mechanics and functions of different types of cytoskeletal motors, discuss their important roles in cell division, cell motility, intracellular trafficking and other cellular processes, and report new approaches to study these molecules.


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2011

March 2011 Vol 12 No 3

Moving into the cell: single-molecule studies of molecular motors in complex environments

Claudia Veigel & Christoph F. Schmidt


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2010

February 2010 Vol 11 No 2

Myosin VI: an innovative motor that challenged the swinging lever arm hypothesis

James A. Spudich & Sivaraj Sivaramakrishnan


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2009

December 2009 Vol 10 No 12

Regulators of the cytoplasmic dynein motor

Julia R. Kardon & Ronald D. Vale

December 2009 Vol 10 No 12

The mechanisms of kinesin motor motility: lessons from the monomeric motor KIF1A

Nobutaka Hirokawa, Ryo Nitta & Yasushi Okada

November 2009 Vol 10 No 11

Non-muscle myosin II takes centre stage in cell adhesion and migration

Miguel Vicente-Manzanares, Xuefei Ma, Robert S. Adelstein & Alan Rick Horwitz

November 2009 Vol 10 No 11

Traffic control: regulation of kinesin motors

Kristen J. Verhey & Jennetta W. Hammond

October 2009 Vol 10 No 10

Kinesin superfamily motor proteins and intracellular transport

Nobutaka Hirokawa, Yasuko Noda, Yosuke Tanaka & Shinsuke Niwa