Colloquium - Ahmet Yildiz (UC Berkeley) The Mechanism of Molecular Motors

December 16, 2016
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
1080 Physics Research Building - Smith Seminar Room - reception at 3:45pm in the Atrium
Ahmet Yildiz - UC Berkeley

The complexity of eukaryotic cells requires intracellular organization, coordination, and locomotion. To overcome these challenges, cells utilize ATP-driven molecular motors, which transport intracellular components unidirectionally along cytoskeletal tracks. Kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein motors facilitate bidirectional transport of a variety of cargos by moving towards the plus- and minus-ends of microtubules, respectively. Detailed mechanistic models exist for kinesin, but the mechanism and regulation of dynein motility are still emerging. We found that dynein walks on a MT through uncoordinated stepping of its two catalytic domains and its mechanism of action differs significantly from the coordinated hand-over-hand stepping of kinesin. Our recent studies present a robust mechanistic model of processivity and force generation that has altered the established views regarding how motors transport intracellular cargos over long distances.

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