Cytoplasmic dynein functions as a gear in response to load

Mallik, Roop ; Carter, Brian C. ; Lex, Stephanie A. ; King, Stephen J. ; Gross, Steven P. (2004) Cytoplasmic dynein functions as a gear in response to load Nature, 427 . pp. 649-652. ISSN 0028-0836

Full text not available from this repository.

Official URL:

Related URL:


Cytoskeletal molecular motors belonging to the kinesin and dynein families transport cargos (for example, messenger RNA, endosomes, virus) on polymerized linear structures called microtubules in the cell1. These ‘nanomachines’ use energy obtained from ATP hydrolysis to generate force2 and move in a step-like manner on microtubules. Dynein3, 4, 5 has a complex and fundamentally different structure from other motor families. Thus, understanding dynein's force generation can yield new insight into the architecture and function of nanomachines. Here, we use an optical trap6 to quantify motion of polystyrene beads driven along microtubules by single cytoplasmic dynein motors. Under no load, dynein moves predominantly with a mixture of 24-nm and 32-nm steps. When moving against load applied by an optical trap, dynein can decrease step size to 8 nm and produce force up to 1.1 pN. This correlation between step size and force production is consistent with a molecular gear mechanism. The ability to take smaller but more powerful strokes under load - that is, to shift gears - depends on the availability of ATP. We propose a model whereby the gear is downshifted through load-induced binding of ATP at secondary sites in the dynein head.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to Nature Publishing Group.
ID Code:109310
Deposited On:10 Oct 2017 12:35
Last Modified:10 Oct 2017 12:35

Repository Staff Only: item control page