Walking the walk: how kinesin and dynein coordinate their steps

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2009 Feb;21(1):59-67. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2008.12.002. Epub 2009 Jan 27.


Molecular motors drive key biological processes such as cell division, intracellular organelle transport, and sperm propulsion and defects in motor function can give rise to various human diseases. Two dimeric microtubule-based motor proteins, kinesin-1 and cytoplasmic dynein can take over one hundred steps without detaching from the track. In this review, we discuss how these processive motors coordinate the activities of their two identical motor domains so that they can walk along microtubules.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Physiological Phenomena
  • Dyneins / chemistry
  • Dyneins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kinesin / chemistry
  • Kinesin / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary


  • Dyneins
  • Kinesin