May the force be within you: A tale of the kinesin motor

School of Physics Soft Condensed Matter & Biophysics Semiar Series: Presenting Wonmuk Hwang, Texas A&M University

The motor protein kinesin uses adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as a fuel and walks along the microtubule filaments in the cell. They are vital for many
cellular processes including intracellular transport and cell division.  Although recent progress in experiments yielded much information regarding
their motility, a structure-based, physical mechanism by which the motor amplifies the ATP-driven small conformational change in the motor head into
a large, 8-nm stepping motion remains largely a mystery. I will discuss molecular dynamics simulations elucidating its force-generation mechanism
and tests by single-molecule optical trap measurements. We find that the motion consists of autonomous force-generation and guided diffusion, where
the partitioning of the two depends on functional needs of different kinesin families.

Event Details


  • Tuesday, April 2, 2013
    3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: Klaus 1116 E
Phone: (404) 894-8886
Fee(s): Free

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