Determinants of molecular motor directionality

Nat Cell Biol. 1999 Oct;1(6):E163-7. doi: 10.1038/14113.


Work over the past two years has led to a breakthrough in our understanding of the molecular basis of the directionality of the kinesin motor proteins. This breakthrough has come first from the reversal of directionality of the kinesin-related motor Ncd, followed closely by the reversal of kinesin's directionality and the finding that the Ncd 'neck' can convert Ncd or kinesin, which are intrinsically plus-end-directed microtubule motors, into a minus-end motor. These findings raise several outstanding questions, foremost, how does the neck function in motor directionality?

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / genetics
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / metabolism
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases / physiology*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Axons / metabolism
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Humans
  • Kinesin / genetics
  • Kinesin / metabolism
  • Kinesin / physiology*
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Molecular Motor Proteins*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Molecular Motor Proteins
  • ncd protein, Drosophila
  • Adenosine Triphosphatases
  • Kinesin