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Research Seminar: Force production by myosin motors: new avenues towards therapeutical treatment

22 November 2017

Dr. Anne Houdusse, Curie Institute, Structural Motility Laboratory, France

Tuesday 28th November, 1.00 p.m., Stacey Lecture Theatre 1

Keywords: myosin, chemo-mechanical transduction, X-ray diffraction, transient kinetics, force generation, drug specificity, muscle disease and therapy.


The actin-based motors, myosins, are critical for many cell processes, from muscle contraction to cytokinesis, cell compartments communication and sophisticated cellular functions such as hearing. Deficit in these motors can lead to a number of human genetic disorders, thus molecular motors are important potential targets for therapeutical treatment.

Structures of myosin associated with small molecules provide interesting insights for the design of very specific inhibitors. Force is produced by these molecular motors by the conversion of chemical energy derived from ATP hydrolysis into mechanical energy via the interaction with their track, the actin filament. The current questions regarding the important events that lead to force production will be presented in light of recently solved X-ray structures of myosin/drug complexes. Exquisite insights on how drugs can increase or stop the force generated by a motor will be described.

Our goal is also to understand how partners define the function of these motors and how different myosins are tuned for distinct specific cellular functions. Recent structures solved in our laboratory will illustrate the current challenges towards depicting the role of myosin motors in cells.


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School of Biosciences, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NJ

Last Updated: 27/09/2013