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L4.06 - Which Tool in the Toolbox? Functional Diversity across the Kinesin Superfamily 
April 8, 2015   3:30pm - 4:00pm

Different nanoscale transport and actuation applications require different motor properties, and insights into fundamental molecular mechanisms can be gained by studying the natural diversity found in nature. Kinesin motors have evolved to carry out diverse transport processes in cells, and thus they provide a valuable toolbox of motors that move at different speeds, have different abilities to generate sustained forces, and possess different affinities for their microtubule tracks. I will discuss work in my lab to understand the specific adaptations of transport (kinesin-1,2 and 3 family) and mitotic (kinesin-5 and 7 family) kinesins, and will describe nanoscale tracking experiments we are carrying out to understand the nanoscale dynamics of each motor domain as it walks along the microtubule. Understanding this diversity across the kinesin superfamily both aids in choosing optimal motors for optimal applications, as well as helping to understand how the activities of many motors can (or can�t) sum to achieve maximal performance.

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