Evidence for a novel affinity mechanism of motor-assisted transport along microtubules

Yuuko Wada, Toshikazu Hamasaki, Peter Satir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In microtubule (MT) translocation assays, using colloidal gold particles coupled to monoclonal tubulin antibodies to mark positions along MTs, we found that relative motion is possible between the gold particle and an MT, gliding on dynein or kinesin. Such motion evidently occurred by an affinity release and rebinding mechanism that did not require motor activity on the particle. As the MTs moved, particles drifted to the trailing edge of the MT and then were released. Sometimes the particles transferred from one MT to another, moving orthogonally. Although motion of the particles was uniformly rearward, movement was toward the (-) or (+) end of the MT, depending on whether dynein or kinesin, respectively, was used in the assay. These results open possibilities for physiological mechanisms of organelle and other movement that, although dependent on motor-driven microtubule transport, do not require direct motor attachment between the organelle and the microtubule. Our observations on the direction of particle drift and time of release may also provide confirmation in a dynamic system for the conclusion that β tubulin is exposed at the (+) end of the MT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-169
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular biology of the cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Evidence for a novel affinity mechanism of motor-assisted transport along microtubules'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this