Motors Proteins on Decorated Microtubules

Metabolic activities in cells require transport of organelles, proteins and nucleic acids towards specific locations. The overall activity resembles urban traffic with different molecular motors moving over a complex road network formed by microtubules. In a paper published today in PLoS One, Caterina La Porta and Stefano Zapperi from the Center for Complexity and Biosystems from the University of Milan, in colaboration with the ISI Foundation, clarified how different molecular motors, such as kinesin and dynein, move on microtubules. Kinesin is similar to a Ferrari, moving rapidly on clean roads, while dynein is like a Jeep and is very effective on bumpy roads.

Bertalan Z, Budrikis Z, La Porta CAM, Zapperi S (2015) Navigation Strategies of Motor Proteins on Decorated Tracks. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0136945. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0136945