Controlling the direction of kinesin-driven microtubule movements along microlithographic tracks

Yuichi Hiratsuka, Tetsuya Tada, Kazuhiro Oiwa, Toshihiko Kanayama, Taro Q.P. Uyeda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

330 Citations (Scopus)


Motor proteins are able to move protein filaments in vitro. However, useful work cannot be extracted from the existing in vitro systems because filament motions are in random directions on two-dimensional surfaces. We succeeded in restricting kinesin-driven movements of microtubules along linear tracks by using micrometer-scaled grooves lithographically fabricated on glass surfaces. We also accomplished the extraction of unidirectional movement from the bidirectional movements along the linear tracks by adding arrowhead patterns on the tracks. These "rectifiers" enabled us to construct microminiturized circulators in which populations of microtubules rotated in one direction, and to actively transport microtubules between two pools connected by arrowheaded tracks in the fields of micrometer scales.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1555-1561
Number of pages7
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


Dive into the research topics of 'Controlling the direction of kinesin-driven microtubule movements along microlithographic tracks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this