The Cargo-Carrying Motor Protein Kinesin
Like a major city, our cells use a complex transportation network to deliver molecular goods to different destinations. This snapshot shows the cargo-carrying motor protein kinesin (blue) stopped along a special cellular track called a microtubule (gray). Kinesin is powered by a fuel molecule called ATP (bright yellow). When ATP attaches, the motor protein rocks up and down like a seesaw, scooting across the microtubule. Researchers only recently sequenced these steps by creating a blend of atomic models (ribbons) and 3-D maps (transparent surface). Since kinesin's movement helps support cell division, blocking its action could potentially derail cancer.
Image credit: Charles Sindelar, Brandeis University