The mitotic kinesin CENP-E is a processive transport motor

Hasan Yardimci, Marilyn Van Duffelen, Yinghui Mao, Steven S. Rosenfeld, Paul R. Selvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


In vivo studies suggest that centromeric protein E (CENP-E), a kinesin-7 family member, plays a key role in the movement of chromosomes toward the metaphase plate during mitosis. How CENP-E accomplishes this crucial task, however, is not clear. Here we present single-molecule measurements of CENP-E that demonstrate that this motor moves processively toward the plus end of microtubules, with an average run length of 2.6 ± 0.2 μm, in a hand-over-hand fashion, taking 8-nm steps with a stall force of 6 ± 0.1 pN. The ATP dependence of motor velocity obeys Michaelis-Menten kinetics with KM,ATP = 35 ± 5 μM. All of these features are remarkably similar to those for kinesin-1 - a highly processive transport motor. We, therefore, propose that CENP-E transports chromosomes in a manner analogous to how kinesin-1 transports cytoplasmic vesicles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6016-6021
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 22 2008


  • Mitotic motor
  • Single molecule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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