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Cell. 1997 Dec 26;91(7):985-94.

The crystal structure of dimeric kinesin and implications for microtubule-dependent motility.

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Max-Planck-Unit for Structural Molecular Biology, Hamburg, Germany.


The dimeric form of the kinesin motor and neck domain from rat brain with bound ADP has been solved by X-ray crystallography. The two heads of the dimer are connected via a coiled-coil alpha-helical interaction of their necks. They are broadly similar to one another; differences are most apparent in the head-neck junction and in a moderate reorientation of the neck helices in order to adopt to the coiled-coil conformation. The heads show a rotational symmetry (approximately 120 degrees) about an axis close to that of the coiled-coil. This arrangement is unexpected since it is not compatible with the microtubule lattice. In this arrangement, the two heads of a kinesin dimer could not have equivalent interactions with microtubules.

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