Regulation of microtubule dynamics by kinesins

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2011 Dec;22(9):927-34. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2011.09.021. Epub 2011 Oct 5.


The simple mechanistic and functional division of the kinesin family into either active translocators or non-motile microtubule depolymerases was initially appropriate but is now proving increasingly unhelpful, given evidence that several translocase kinesins can affect microtubule dynamics, whilst non-translocase kinesins can promote microtubule assembly and depolymerisation. Such multi-role kinesins act either directly on microtubule dynamics, by interaction with microtubules and tubulin, or indirectly, through the transport of other factors along the lattice to the microtubule tip. Here I review recent progress on the mechanisms and roles of these translocase kinesins.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Kinesins / metabolism*
  • Microtubules / metabolism*
  • Tubulin / metabolism


  • Tubulin
  • Kinesins