Microtubule interaction site of the kinesin motor. Academic Article uri icon


  • Kinesin and myosin are motor proteins that share a common structural core and bind to microtubules and actin filaments, respectively. While the actomyosin interface has been well studied, the location of the microtubule-binding site on kinesin has not been identified. Using alanine-scanning mutagenesis, we have found that microtubule-interacting kinesin residues are located in three loops that cluster in a patch on the motor surface. The critical residues are primarily positively charged, which is consistent with a primarily electrostatic interaction with the negatively charged tubulin molecule. The core of the microtubule-binding interface resides in a highly conserved loop and helix (L12/alpha5) that corresponds topologically to the major actin-binding domain of myosin. Thus, kinesin and myosin have developed distinct polymer-binding domains in a similar region with respect to their common catalytic cores.

publication date

  • July 25, 1997

published in