Kinesin walks the line: single motors observed by atomic force microscopy.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Motor proteins of the kinesin family move actively along microtubules to transport cargo within cells. How exactly a single motor proceeds on the 13 narrow lanes or protofilaments of a microtubule has not been visualized directly, and there persists controversy on the relative position of the two kinesin heads in different nucleotide states. We have succeeded in imaging Kinesin-1 dimers immobilized on microtubules with single-head resolution by atomic force microscopy. Moreover, we could catch glimpses of single Kinesin-1 dimers in their motion along microtubules with nanometer resolution. We find in our experiments that frequently both heads of one dimer are microtubule-bound at submicromolar ATP concentrations. Furthermore, we could unambiguously resolve that both heads bind to the same protofilament, instead of straddling two, and remain on this track during processive movement.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Schaap, IAT; Carrasco, C; de Pablo, PJ; Schmidt, CF

Published Date

  • May 2011

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 100 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 2450 - 2456

PubMed ID

  • 21575579

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3093571

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1542-0086

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-3495

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.bpj.2011.04.015


  • eng