biophysics of dynein motor proteins
Cytoskeletal motor proteins, including the kinesin, myosin and dynein superfamilies, are mechanoenzymes that convert chemical energy to mechanical work. They exert pN-scale forces over nm-scale distances. We focus on dynein, the largest and least studied superfamily. Members of the dynein superfamily are important for cell motility, intracellular transport, mitosis, etc.
Our research is focused on discovering the fundamental physical mechanisms that underlie the action, regulation and coordination of both axonemal and cytoplasmic dyneins. We take multiple approaches including:
- optical tweezers
- fluorescence and TIRF microscopy
- in vitro biological reconstitutions
- forward engineered biophysical systems
- multiscale mathematical and computational modeling
Most of our fundamental biophysics of axonemal dynein work is done using Chlamydomonas reinhardtii as a model organism.
The tracked flagellar waveforms of the Chlamydomonas beat (Geyer et al. 2013).
Check out our most recent work on this topic on our publications page.