THE EFFECTS OF MULTIPLE KINESIN MOTORS ON CARGO TRANSPORT VELOCITY

Open Access
Author:
Bizzaro, Nicholas Robert
Area of Honors:
Bioengineering
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • William O Hancock, Thesis Supervisor
  • William O Hancock, Honors Advisor
  • Peter J Butler, Faculty Reader
  • Margaret June Slattery, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • motor proteins
  • kinesin
  • cellular transport
Abstract:
The function of kinesin molecular motors is to transport cargo within a cell along microtubules. Observation of in vivo cargo transport has led researchers to believe that molecular motors often work together to carry cargo within a cell. When multiple motors attach to cargo they can cooperatively regulate cargo’s transport properties. The cargo transport velocity that results is related to the properties of the assemblies of each type of motor that is bound to the cargo. This thesis aims to evaluate current mathematical models used to predict the resultant cargo velocity of cooperative transport with multiple kinesin motors and understand the best conditions in which to apply them. Models have been proposed that relate basic transport properties of different kinesin motors and their respective mole fractions to predict a resultant velocity based on these measurements. The specific properties of the different motors are expected to have a significant impact on the movement of the cargo, depending on which motors are mixed together. Cargo transport using two different kinesin motors can be evaluated experimentally using microtubule gliding motility assays. This experiment permits direct observation of in vitro cargo transport of fluorescent microtubules by kinesin motors. The velocity data from the motility assay helps characterize the cooperative movement of cargo that is transported by more than one type of kinesin motor.