Ahmet Yildiz, University of California, Berkeley
Cytoplasmic dynein is an AAA+ motor responsible for motility and force generation functions towards the microtubule minus end. In comparison to kinesin and myosin motor families of the cytoskeleton, the mechanism of dynein motility was not well understood due to the complexity of its structure and massive size. Using single-molecule imaging methods, we presented a robust mechanistic model of how dynein steps along microtubules and generates force and identified a unique ATPase site that repurposes dynein for different cellular functions. We also reversed the direction of dynein motility by protein engineering, which explained why all dyneins move towards the microtubule minus-end. These results establish a comprehensive model for how dynein functions as a motor and transports cargos in cells.
Flyer File: yildiz_ahmet_physics_flyer.pdf