Kinesin motors as molecular machines.
Molecular motor proteins, fueled by energy from ATP hydrolysis, move along actin filaments or microtubules, performing work in the cell. The kinesin microtubule motors transport vesicles or organelles, assemble bipolar spindles or depolymerize microtubules, functioning in basic cellular processes. The mechanism by which motor proteins convert energy from ATP hydrolysis into work is likely to differ in basic ways from man-made machines. Several mechanical elements of the kinesin motors have now been tentatively identified, permitting researchers to begin to decipher the mechanism of motor function. The force-producing conformational changes of the motor and the means by which they are amplified are probably different for the plus- and minus-end kinesin motors.
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