Kinesin: Walking, crawling or sliding along?

Ahmet Yildiz, Paul R. Selvin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Kinesins are microtubule-based motor proteins that are involved in cargo transport and mitosis. They are called 'motors' because they convert chemical energy to mechanical energy (i.e. force and motion). They use the energy of ATP hydrolysis for their enzymatic processes by walking on microtubules. However, the mechanism underlying their motion has been unclear. Recently, conventional kinesin, which was the first-identified member of the family, has been shown to walk by swapping its two heads in a 'hand-over-hand' mechanism. There is also experimental evidence supporting an asymmetric walking of kinesin in which two identical heads of the motor take alternate slow and fast steps. Other cargo-carrier and mitotic kinesins remain uninvestigated and are of great interest to biophysicists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-120
Number of pages9
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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