Remote control of myosin and kinesin motors using light-activated gearshifting
- Author(s): Nakamura, M
- Chen, L
- Howes, SC
- Schindler, TD
- Nogales, E
- Bryant, Z
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4349207/
Cytoskeletal motors perform critical force generation and transport functions in eukaryotic cells. Engineered modifications of motor function provide direct tests of protein structure-function relationships and potential tools for controlling cellular processes or for harnessing molecular transport in artificial systems. Here, we report the design and characterization of a panel of cytoskeletal motors that reversibly change gears-speed up, slow down or switch directions-when exposed to blue light. Our genetically encoded structural designs incorporate a photoactive protein domain to enable light-dependent conformational changes in an engineered lever arm. Using in vitro motility assays, we demonstrate robust spatiotemporal control over motor function and characterize the kinetics of the optical gearshifting mechanism. We have used a modular approach to create optical gearshifting motors for both actin-based and microtubule-based transport. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.
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