Montana State University

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Special Optics/Biophysics Seminar

Friday, July 19, 2013, from 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Engineering and Physical Sciences Building, 103

Probing the nanoscale motion and force generation of single dynein molecules by optical trapping nanometry

Dr. Arne Gennerich, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Gruss-Lipper Biophotonics Center, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461.


Cytoplasmic dynein is a highly processive biomolecular motor protein with two motor domains ('heads') that generates microtubule minus-end-directed motility in eukaryotic cells. It contains four AAA (ATPase associated with various cellular activities) domains per head that can bind ATP, and has the ability to take hundreds of nanoscale steps along microtubules before it dissociates and diffuses away. Such continuous movement requires coordination of the mechanochemical cycles of both motor domains so that the front head remains bound to the track while the rear head detaches and moves forward. However, the molecular mechanism that underlies dynein's motion and force generation remains unknown. In this seminar, I will present our most recent structure-function studies and optical trapping experiments that are providing new insights into the coordination of dynein motors domains and the evolutionary differences in the force generation of metazoan and non-metazoan dyneins.

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