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Kinesin is a motor protein that carries membrane-bound organelles around the cell by moving along microtubules. It has structural similarities with myosin as it has two ‘heavy’ chains which make up globular heads, and two ‘light’ chains that wind around each other to create the tail. It is the globular heads that bind to the microtubules in the cell and ‘walk’ down them to create movement. The tail contains a binding site for membrane-bound organelles which allows for their transportation around the cell[1]. Kinesins use chemical energy in the form of ATP in order to perform comformational changes that in turn generate motile force[2].


  1. Alberts B., Johnson A., Lewis J., Raff M., Roberts K., Walter P. (2008) Molecular Biology of the Cell, 5th edition, New York: Garland Science, Taylor and Francis Group, page 1014
  2. Nobutaka Hirokawa, Yasuko Noda, Yosuke Tanaka & Shinsuke Niwa Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology 10, 682-696 (October 2009)
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