Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(9):1083-1092. doi:10.7150/ijbs.15633 This issue


Cytoskeleton Molecular Motors: Structures and Their Functions in Neuron

Qingpin Xiao1,2, Xiaohui Hu1, Zhiyi Wei2, Kin Yip Tam1,✉

1. Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, Taipa, Macau, China
2. Department of Biology, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, 518055, China

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY-NC) License. See for full terms and conditions.
Xiao Q, Hu X, Wei Z, Tam KY. Cytoskeleton Molecular Motors: Structures and Their Functions in Neuron. Int J Biol Sci 2016; 12(9):1083-1092. doi:10.7150/ijbs.15633. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Cells make use of molecular motors to transport small molecules, macromolecules and cellular organelles to target region to execute biological functions, which is utmost important for polarized cells, such as neurons. In particular, cytoskeleton motors play fundamental roles in neuron polarization, extension, shape and neurotransmission. Cytoskeleton motors comprise of myosin, kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein. F-actin filaments act as myosin track, while kinesin and cytoplasmic dynein move on microtubules. Cytoskeleton motors work together to build a highly polarized and regulated system in neuronal cells via different molecular mechanisms and functional regulations. This review discusses the structures and working mechanisms of the cytoskeleton motors in neurons.

Keywords: Cytoskeleton motors, Myosin, Kinesin, Cytoplasmic dynein, Neuron