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Mechanism of Motor Proteins

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Our laboratory has worked on the mechanism of kinesin motor proteins for many years (effectively since 1984). We have tried to integrate information derived from many techniques (single molecule approaches, x-ray crystallography, EM, spectroscopy and mutagenesis) to develop a model of how kinesin motors work. While we still have some kinesin biophysics projects ongoing in the lab, our attention has turned more towards dynein as the motility mechanism of this large microtubule-based motor remains still very poorly understood. While much bigger and more complex than kinesin, we finally have developed a spectrum of assays for yeast cytoplasmic dynein, which should allow us to make progress on this motor protein. We also are interested in the mechanisms of other protein (see sections on microtubule severing and plus end binding proteins) and are willing explore other interesting protein machines in the future.



updated 4/9/07

Vale Lab Research

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