William Hancock

Institute:Department of Biomedical Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University
Title:The molecular mechanisms underlying intracellular transport by kinesin motor proteins
Abstract:["Kinesins are molecular motors that transport vesicles, organelles and chromosomes in cells. There are 45 different kinesin genes in humans that carry a range of cargo and possess diverse chemomechanical properties. To understand how different kinesins carry out their diverse tasks, we are investigating the nm-scale dynamics of kinesins as they walk along microtubules. Using gold nanoparticle tracking, we can detect sub-steps in the chemomechanical cycle and measure how ATP hydrolysis triggers the forward step of the motor. Using these tools, we can also explain differences in processivity, the ability of the motors to walk many steps along the microtubule before dissociating. Most intracellular transport is carried out by teams of molecular motors. Thus, we are extending these investigations into how motors attached to a shared cargo coordinate their stepping activities. The overarching goal is to understand the molecular mechanism underlying bidirectional transport of cargo in cells, such as axonal transport of vesicles, and how these processes are altered in neurodegenerative disease."]
Host:Anna Akhmanova