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J Muscle Res Cell Motil. 2006;27(2):153-60. Epub 2006 Feb 1.

Review: regulation mechanisms of Kinesin-1.

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Institute for Cell Biology, University of Munich, Schillerstr. 42, D-80336, Munich, Germany.


Kinesin-1 microtubule motors are common kinesin motors from protozoa, fungi and animals. They transport vesicular or particle cargo in a strictly regulated manner. The relatively well-studied tail inhibition mechanism is based on a conformational change that leads to an interaction of Kinesin-1's tail with the junction of neck and hinge regions. This folding causes a decrease in microtubule binding and motor activity. In fungal Kinesin-1 motors several lines of evidence suggest that a conserved tyrosine in the neck coiled-coil mediates this inhibition. In the active state, a region surrounding a conserved tryptophan in the hinge stabilises the neck coiled-coil, and prevents the tyrosine from inhibiting. Although animal and fungal Kinesin-1 motors are clearly homologous and function according to the same chemo-mechanical mechanism, they differ in their regulation. Unlike fungal Kinesin-1s, animal kinesins associate with light chains that are important for regulation and cargo interaction. Several proteins interacting with animal Kinesin-1 heavy or light chains are known, among them typical scaffolding proteins that seem to link Kinesin-1 to signalling pathways.

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