Int J Biol Sci 2010; 6(7):665-674. doi:10.7150/ijbs.6.665 This issue


Mechanism of Processive Movement of Monomeric and Dimeric Kinesin Molecules

Ping Xie

Key Laboratory of Soft Matter Physics and Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China

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Xie P. Mechanism of Processive Movement of Monomeric and Dimeric Kinesin Molecules. Int J Biol Sci 2010; 6(7):665-674. doi:10.7150/ijbs.6.665. Available from

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Kinesin molecules are motor proteins capable of moving along microtubule by hydrolyzing ATP. They generally have several forms of construct. This review focuses on two of the most studied forms: monomers such as KIF1A (kinesin-3 family) and dimers such as conventional kinesin (kinesin-1 family), both of which can move processively towards the microtubule plus end. There now exist numerous models that try to explain how the kinesin molecules convert the chemical energy of ATP hydrolysis into the mechanical energy to “power” their proceesive movement along microtubule. Here, we attempt to present a comprehensive review of these models. We further propose a new hybrid model for the dimeric kinesin by combining the existing models and provide a framework for future studies in this subject.

Keywords: Monomeric kinesin, Dimeric kinesin, Molecular motor, Model, Mechanochemistry, Processivity