Tools for targeting and assessing force generation in kinesins


Kinesins are motor proteins in eukaryotic cells powered by ATP hydrolysis. These proteins are involved in various cellular functions including cell division. In particular, Kinesin-5 (also known as KIF11 and Eg5) is essential to forming the microtubule spindle structure in mitosis; therefore, this protein is a potential target for chemotherapeutics and antineoplastics. Chimeric kinesin proteins, comprising one or more regions from at least two kinesin proteins, are valuable tools to study the molecular mechanism of kinesin function as well as to identify agents that affect kinesin motor function.


The Lang laboratory has extensive knowledge in the study of kinesin proteins and their features. One useful tool are chimeric kinesin proteins. These proteins can be used to identify test agents that target a particular region of a kinesin protein through motility and binding assays and virtual screening methods. Utilizing these kinesin proteins and chimeric kinesin proteins one can measure both velocity and force of the individual protein, as well as how conditions, or therapeutics could affect these characteristics.

Potential uses

• Drug Discovery

• Kinesin targeted therapeutic characterization

• Antibody or small molecule binding site mapping

• SNP analysis of therapeutic effect on naturally occurring kinesin variants

• Kinesin force and velocity measurements

Status and Further Reading:

We are currently seeking a licensing partner, and/or a collaborative sponsor who could us this unique technology to expand their research. For more information please see this recent publication by the group:
Matthew LangWilliam HesseWonmuk HwangMartin Karplus
Licensing manager: 
Tom Utley

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