Training in Structure/Function Studies of Molecular Motors

PMI members are determining the mechanisms by which cytoskeletal motors power motility, transport, and contraction at the atomic to cellular levels.


Cytoskeletal motors (dynein, kinesin, and myosin) are Nature's engineering masterpieces. These remarkable proteins use chemical energy (ATP) to generate mechanical force and motion, and in doing so, play key roles in nearly every physiological process.  Cytoskeletal motors are essential for life, and mutations in their sequences or in related proteins result in a range of diseases.

PMI members are at the forefront of developing and implementing technologies to determine the ATP-induced structural changes in the motor that lead to force generation, and the coupling of motors to their associated bio-assemblies, membranes, and/or organelles. These techniques include single-molecule spectroscopy and imaging, single-molecule force measurements, X-ray crystallography, cryo-EM, cryo-ET, super-resolution light microscopy, and heterologous expression of mutant molecular motors.

Investigating Members: