A variety of intracellular motile processes involve the directed movement of particles along microtubules, including organelle transport, endoplasmic reticulum extension, and movements in mitosis. Recently, a microtubule‐dependent motor protein, kinesin, was purified and was found to be present in a soluble form in a wide variety of organisms and tissues. Because microtubules provide polar pathways over long distances within cells, kinesin and the motors which move in the opposite direction to kinesin on microtubules provide a mechanism for directed communications within cells. The possible roles of kinesin and other soluble microtubule‐dependent motors in intracellular motile functions are discussed in the light of recent studies of the reconstitution of organelle motility with isolated components.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)