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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2006 Feb;18(1):61-7. Epub 2005 Dec 19.

Kinesin's moonwalk.

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Molecular Motors Group, Marie Curie Research Institute, The Chart, Oxted, Surrey, RH8 0TE UK.


Kinesin-1 is a single-molecule walking machine, driven by ATP turnover. Recent optical trapping experiments show that pulling backwards on a walking kinesin-1 molecule causes the mechanical walking action to reverse, while the coupled chemical cycle of ATP turnover continues, apparently, to run forwards -- kinesin can moonwalk. Individual forward- and back-steps are fast, and each appears to be a single event, complete in a few tens of microseconds, with no substeps. Between steps, kinesin pauses, waiting for the next ATP to arrive. Several lines of evidence indicate that during these between-step dwells, only one of the two heads is strongly attached to the microtubule. The position of the other head during the dwells is less certain, and more controversial.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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