New insights into the workings of the ultimate swimming machine

Svoboda, K. (August 1996) New insights into the workings of the ultimate swimming machine. Biophysical Journal, 71 (2). pp. 539-40. ISSN 0006-3495

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DOI: 10.1016/S0006-3495(96)79255-X


Over the last few years, increasingly clever in vitro motility assays have allowed mechanical and kinetic measurements at the level of single molecular motors (see for example Block and Svoboda (1995), Finer et al. (1995), and Yanagida and Ishijima (1995) in a special issue of Biophysical Journal devoted to molecular motors). But to get a handle on complex phenomena such as cytokinesis or muscle contraction, we need to understand how molecular motors work in ensembles from a few to many millions. How do motors interact when they pull the same load along a substrate? Do they just follow an internal program, blind to the presence of other motors? Or do they fall into synchrony, like waltzing lovers? To address these questions that lie at the center of the problem of biological self-organization,experimental systems are needed in which a known number of molecules interact in the correct orientation with their substrates. In the world of eukaryotic motors, such as kinesin and myosin, we know how to study either exactly one or a poorly defined ensemble of motors.

Item Type: Paper
Additional Information: 0006-3495 (Print) Journal Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bacterial Proteins/chemistry/physiology Cell Movement/*physiology Escherichia coli/*physiology Flagella/*physiology/ultrastructure Models, Biological Torque
Subjects: organism description > bacteria > escherichia coli
bioinformatics > genomics and proteomics > genetics & nucleic acid processing > protein structure, function, modification > protein types
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Svoboda lab
Depositing User: Kathleen Darby
Date: August 1996
Date Deposited: 13 May 2014 13:59
Last Modified: 13 May 2014 13:59
PMCID: PMC1233508
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