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Cell Motil Cytoskeleton. 1992;23(1):19-33.

Association of kinesin with characterized membrane-bounded organelles.

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Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas.


The family of molecular motors known as kinesin has been implicated in the translocation of membrane-bounded organelles along microtubules, but relatively little is known about the interaction of kinesin with organelles. In order to understand these interactions, we have examined the association of kinesin with a variety of organelles. Kinesin was detected in purified organelle fractions, including synaptic vesicles, mitochondria, and coated vesicles, using quantitative immunoblots and immunoelectron microscopy. In contrast, isolated Golgi membranes and nuclear fractions did not contain detectable levels of kinesin. These results demonstrate that the organelle binding capacity of kinesin is selective and specific. The ability to purify membrane-bounded organelles with associated kinesin indicates that at least a portion of the cellular kinesin has a relatively stable association with membrane-bounded organelles in the cell. In addition, immunoelectron microscopy of mitochondria revealed a patch-like pattern in the kinesin distribution, suggesting that the organization of the motor on the organelle membrane may play a role in regulating organelle motility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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