On the Walking Mechanism of Linear Molecular Motors

  • Kazuhiko KinositaJr.
  • Katsuyuki Shiroguchi
  • M. Yusuf Ali
  • Kengo Adachi
  • Hiroyasu Itoh
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 592)


Many of linear molecular motors, such as myosins and kinesins, have two “feet” (traditionally called “heads” or “motor domains”) that bind to a motor-specific track and that each host a catalytic site for hydrolyzing ATP to power unidirectional movement along the track (Kinosita et al., 1998, 2005; Vale and Milligan, 2000; Mehta, 2001; Endow and Barker, 2003; Schliwa and Woehlke, 2003; Vale, 2003; Sablin and Fletterick, 2004). Some of the linear motors, such as conventional kinesin (Brady, 1985; Vale et al., 1985; Howard et al., 1989; Block et al., 1990; Svoboda et al., 1993), myosin V (Cheney et al., 1993; Mehta et al., 1999; Sakamoto et al., 2000), myosin VI (Kellerman and Miller, 1992; Wells et al., 1999; Rock et al., 2001; Nishikawa et al., 2002), and plant myosin XI (Tominaga et al., 2003), are processive, in that a single motor molecule proceeds along a filamentous track for many ATPase cycles without detaching from the track. That the two feet never detach simultaneously from the track (or the ground in case of a human) is an important feature of “walking,” as opposed to “running” (Kinosita et al., 1998). In addition, at least for myosin V and conventional kinesin which are known to be processive, convincing evidence exists that these motors throw their two feet forward alternately in a hand-over-hand fashion (Yildiz et al., 2003, 2004; Asbury et al., 2003; Kaseda et al., 2003; Warshaw et al., 2005), just as a human does.


Landing Site Molecular Motor Lever Action Coiled Coil Myosin Versus 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazuhiko KinositaJr.
    • 1
  • Katsuyuki Shiroguchi
    • 1
  • M. Yusuf Ali
    • 2
  • Kengo Adachi
    • 1
  • Hiroyasu Itoh
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Physics, Faculty of Science and TechnologyWaseda UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Physics, Faculty of Physical SciencesShahjalal University of Science and TechnologySylhetBangladesh
  3. 3.Tsukuba Research LaboratoryHamamatsu Photonics KKJapan
  4. 4.CREST “Creation and Application of Soft Nano-Machine, the Hyperfunctional Molecular Machine” Team 13*Tokodai, TsukubaJapan

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