Kinesin-II, the heteromeric kinesin

Cell Mol Life Sci. 1999 Oct 15;56(3-4):217-26. doi: 10.1007/s000180050423.


The kinesins constitute a large family of motor proteins which are responsible for the distribution of numerous organelles, vesicles and macromolecular complexes throughout the cell. One class of these molecular motors, kinesin-II, is unique in that these proteins are typically found as heterotrimeric complexes containing two different, though related, kinesin-like motor subunits, and a single nonmotor subunit. The heteromeric nature of these kinesins appears to have resulted in a class of combinatorial kinesins which can 'mix and match' different motor subunits. Another novel feature of these motors is that the activities of several kinesin-II representatives are essential in the assembly of motile and nonmotile cilia, a role not attributed to any other kinesin. This review presents a brief overview of the structure and biological functions of kinesin-II, the heteromeric kinesin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Dimerization
  • Humans
  • Kinesins / chemistry
  • Kinesins / genetics
  • Kinesins / physiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Muscle Proteins / chemistry
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics
  • Muscle Proteins / physiology*
  • Myosin-Light-Chain Kinase
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins
  • kinesin-II
  • MYLK protein, human
  • Myosin-Light-Chain Kinase
  • Kinesins