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J Biomech Eng. 2018 Feb 1;140(2). doi: 10.1115/1.4037886.

Kinesin and Dynein Mechanics: Measurement Methods and Research Applications.

Author information

1
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106.
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106.
3
Mem. ASME Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106 e-mail: .
4
Mem. ASME Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106.

Abstract

Motor proteins play critical roles in the normal function of cells and proper development of organisms. Among motor proteins, failings in the normal function of two types of proteins, kinesin and dynein, have been shown to lead many pathologies, including neurodegenerative diseases and cancers. As such, it is critical to researchers to understand the underlying mechanics and behaviors of these proteins, not only to shed light on how failures may lead to disease, but also to guide research toward novel treatment and nano-engineering solutions. To this end, many experimental techniques have been developed to measure the force and motility capabilities of these proteins. This review will (a) discuss such techniques, specifically microscopy, atomic force microscopy (AFM), optical trapping, and magnetic tweezers, and (b) the resulting nanomechanical properties of motor protein functions such as stalling force, velocity, and dependence on adenosine triphosophate (ATP) concentrations will be comparatively discussed. Additionally, this review will highlight the clinical importance of these proteins. Furthermore, as the understanding of the structure and function of motor proteins improves, novel applications are emerging in the field. Specifically, researchers have begun to modify the structure of existing proteins, thereby engineering novel elements to alter and improve native motor protein function, or even allow the motor proteins to perform entirely new tasks as parts of nanomachines. Kinesin and dynein are vital elements for the proper function of cells. While many exciting experiments have shed light on their function, mechanics, and applications, additional research is needed to completely understand their behavior.

PMID:
28901373
PMCID:
PMC5816248
[Available on 2019-02-01]
DOI:
10.1115/1.4037886

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