Motility Assays for Microtubule Motor Proteins


Light microscopic motility assays provide critical information about the mechanism of action of motor proteins. Motility assays allow the visualization of individual motor proteins moving in vitro, and the movement of such motors as they drive microtubuleā€based motility events in living cells.

Keywords: motility; microtubule; kinesin; dynein; microscopy

Figure 1.

Microtubule motility assays. (a) In the microtubule gliding assay, microtubules are visualized moving over a ‘lawn’ of motor proteins absorbed to the microscope coverglass. (b) Single, fluorescently labelled motor proteins can be visualized moving along microtubules by total internal reflection microscopy in the single molecule motility assay.



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Inoue S and Spring KR (1997) Video Microscopy: The Fundamentals, 2nd edn. New York: Plenum.

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Rogers, Stephen L, and Scholey, Jonathan M(Mar 2004) Motility Assays for Microtubule Motor Proteins. In: eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester. [doi: 10.1038/npg.els.0002621]