Motor protein structure

Motor protein structure describes the structure of molecular motors capable of moving along a cytoskeletal filament. In many cases, motor proteins transport cargo in a particular direction along the filament, and this directionality is associated with both protein and filament structure.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Cytoplasmic dyneins transport cellular components from the periphery toward the center of the cell. By moving cargoes along microtubules, dyneins ensure proper cell division, regulate exchange of materials between organelles, and contribute to the internal organization of eukaryotic cells. Two recent studies show that, upon dimerization, cytoplasmic dyneins intrinsically adopt an autoinhibited configuration that can be relieved by other factors to precisely control motor activity and regulate dynein-based transport.

    • Gaia Pigino
    •  & Stephen M King
  • News and Views |

    The detailed mechanism by which the molecular motors kinesin and myosin travel along their respective protein tracks as they generate force during motile processes is still poorly understood. In a recent breakthrough, a crystal structure of kinesin in complex with tubulin illuminates the atomic-level details of a motor-track interaction, answering many questions yet leaving a number of mysteries unresolved.

    • Jared C Cochran
    •  & F Jon Kull
  • News and Views |

    Physics provides new approaches to difficult biological problems: a plausible mathematical model of how cilia and flagella beat has been formulated, but it needs to be subjected to rigorous experimental tests.

    • T. J. Mitchison
    •  & H. M. Mitchison
    Nature 463, 308-309