Moving into the cell: single-molecule studies of molecular motors in complex environments.
Much has been learned in the past decades about molecular force generation. Single-molecule techniques, such as atomic force microscopy, single-molecule fluorescence microscopy and optical tweezers, have been key in resolving the mechanisms behind the power strokes, 'processive' steps and forces of cytoskeletal motors. However, it remains unclear how single force generators are integrated into composite mechanical machines in cells to generate complex functions such as mitosis, locomotion, intracellular transport or mechanical sensory transduction. Using dynamic single-molecule techniques to track, manipulate and probe cytoskeletal motor proteins will be crucial in providing new insights.
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