Closing of the nucleotide pocket of kinesin-family motors upon binding to microtubules. Academic Article uri icon


  • We have used adenosine diphosphate analogs containing electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spin moieties and EPR spectroscopy to show that the nucleotide-binding site of kinesin-family motors closes when the motor.diphosphate complex binds to microtubules. Structural analyses demonstrate that a domain movement in the switch 1 region at the nucleotide site, homologous to domain movements in the switch 1 region in the G proteins [heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding proteins], explains the EPR data. The switch movement primes the motor both for the free energy-yielding nucleotide hydrolysis reaction and for subsequent conformational changes that are crucial for the generation of force and directed motion along the microtubule.

publication date

  • May 2, 2003