Kinesin Motor Proteins
Kinesins are motor proteins that are responsible for long-distance transport and move along microtubule filaments at speeds typically between 0.5 and 3 µm/s. „Conventional“ kinesins (now called Kinesin-1) require two identical subunits with two so-called motor heads (or motor domains) to perform their physiological function. The two motor domains move stepwise to the plus-end of microtubules at the expense of ATP hydrolysis energy. To perform this task, the two motor domains go through alternating intermediate states, such that the entire motor always stays bound to the microtubule.
We are studying the biophysical and kinetic mechanism of different members of the kinesin family of proteins, as well as their regulation. Recent studies suggest that defects in the regulatory mechanism on kinesins severely affect neuronal cells. We are planning to study the consequences of some of these defects in collaboration with Dr. Tobias Rasse, Tübingen.