Walking on two heads: the many talents of kinesin

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2000 Oct;1(1):50-8. doi: 10.1038/35036069.


The gallop of a race horse and the minute excursions of a cellular vesicle have one thing in common: they are based on the directional movement of proteins termed molecular motors -- many trillions in the case of the horse, just a few in the case of the cell vesicle. These tiny machines take nanometre steps on a millisecond timescale to drive all biological movements. Over the past 15 years new biochemical and biophysical approaches have allowed us to take a giant step forward in understanding the molecular basis of motor mechanics.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport / physiology*
  • Kinesins / chemistry
  • Kinesins / genetics
  • Kinesins / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / physiology*
  • Multigene Family
  • Myosins / chemistry
  • Myosins / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary


  • Molecular Motor Proteins
  • Myosins
  • Kinesins