Directional switching of the kinesin Cin8 through motor coupling
Authors: Roostalu J, Hentrich C, Bieling P, Telley IA, Schiebel E, Surrey T.
CellNetworks People: Schiebel Elmar
Journal: Science. 2011 Apr 1;332(6025):94-9.

Kinesin motor proteins are thought to move exclusively in either one or the other direction along microtubules. Proteins of the kinesin-5 family are tetrameric microtubule cross-linking motors important for cell division and differentiation in various organisms. Kinesin-5 motors are considered to be plus-end-directed. However, here we found that purified kinesin-5 Cin8 from budding yeast could behave as a bidirectional kinesin. On individual microtubules, single Cin8 motors were minus-end-directed motors, whereas they switched to plus-end-directed motility when working in a team of motors sliding antiparallel microtubules apart. This kinesin can thus change directionality of movement depending on whether it acts alone or in an ensemble.