Molecular motors: strategies to get along

Author(s): Mallik R, Gross SP


The majority of active transport in the cell is driven by three classes of molecular motors: the kinesin and dynein families that move toward the plus-end and minus-end of microtubules, respectively, and the unconventional myosin motors that move along actin filaments. Each class of motor has different properties, but in the cell they often function together. In this review we summarize what is known about their single-molecule properties and the possibilities for regulation of such properties. In view of new results on cytoplasmic dynein, we attempt to rationalize how these different classes of motors might work together as part of the intracellular transport machinery. We propose that kinesin and myosin are robust and highly efficient transporters, but with somewhat limited room for regulation of function. Because cytoplasmic dynein is less efficient and robust, to achieve function comparable to the other motors it requires a number of accessory proteins as well as multiple dyneins functioning together. This necessity for additional factors, as well as dynein's inherent complexity, in principle allows for greatly increased control of function by taking the factors away either singly or in combination. Thus, dynein's contribution relative to the other motors can be dynamically tuned, allowing the motors to function together differently in a variety of situations.

Similar Articles

Internalization of mammalian fluorescent cellular prion protein and N-terminal deletion mutants in living cells

Author(s): Lee KS, Magalhães AC, Zanata SM, Brentani RR, Martins VR, et al.

Endocytic intermediates involved with the intracellular trafficking of a fluorescent cellular prion protein

Author(s): Magalhães AC, Silva JA, Lee KS, Martins VR, Prado VF, et al.

Mutant prion proteins are partially retained in the endoplasmic reticulum

Author(s): Ivanova L, Barmada S, Kummer T, Harris DA

Scrapie-infected murine neuroblastoma cells produce protease-resistant prion proteins

Author(s): Butler DA, Scott MR, Bockman JM, Borchelt DR, Taraboulos A, et al.

Anterograde and retrograde intracellular trafficking of fluorescent cellular prion protein

Author(s): Hachiya NS, Watanabe K, Yamada M, Sakasegawa Y, Kaneko K

Prion protein is necessary for normal synaptic function

Author(s): Collinge J, Whittington MA, Sidle KC, Smith CJ, Palmer MS, et al.

The cellular prion protein binds copper in vivo

Author(s): Brown DR, Qin K, Herms JW, Madlung A, Manson J, et al.

Evidence for the involvement of KIF4 in the anterograde transport of L1-containing vesicles

Author(s): Peretti D, Peris L, Rosso S, Quiroga S, Cáceres A

Glutamate-receptor-interacting protein GRIP1 directly steers kinesin to dendrites

Author(s): Setou M, Seog DH, Tanaka Y, Kanai Y, Takei Y, et al.

Movement of microtubules by single kinesin molecules

Author(s): Howard J, Hudspeth AJ, Vale RD