'In Vivo' Motor Proteins Activity

The optical tweezers platform SENSOCELL brings you the possibility to study the activity and kinetics of motor proteins in vitro and in vivo

  • Measure stall forces of motor proteins inside living cells.
  • Trap native cell structures or use functionalized beads.
  • Study  tug-of-war and cooperating phenomena when various molecular motors act on the same cargo.
  • Measure parallel and perpendicular to the filament components of the forces exerted on the moving cargo.

Would you like to try SENSOCELL with your biological system samples? Let’s do it, contact us

Measurement of the stall force of kinesin motor proteins in living cells.

In collaboration with the University of Barcelona.

In Vivo motor proteins application video


Motor proteins are responsible for different fundamental biological processes inside cells. One of these functions, of vital importance for the cell survival, is the intracellular transport of vesicles and organelles. Kinesin is the microtubule-based protein that performs the plus-end-directed motion. The protein generates the mechanical work required to move cargos, by means of the hydrolysis of ATP molecules. In cells, lipid droplets can be used as targets for trapping and analysis of the force of the motor proteins propelling them. Fig.1 shows the measurement of the stall force of one of these lipid droplets in an A549 cell.

Fig.1 Stall force of a kinesin motor protein carrying a lipid droplet inside an A549 cell. Courtesy of Dr. Mario Montes and Dr. Estela Martín (University of Barcelona).

Measurement of forces inside cells allows exploring the rich interplay between multiple molecular motors simultaneously pulling on the same vesicle/organelle. Here we show an example illustrating two opposed scenarios: cooperation and competition. Measurements like those shown here are an example of the potential of SENSOCELL in the motor proteins field, which offers the possibility of measuring forces in traditionally difficult or impossible experiments.

Fig. 2 Force curves for a lipid droplet in an A549 cell pulled by multiple molecular motors in different scenarios: in cooperation and in competition. Download full application note to see the two components of the force (parallel and perpendicular to the filament).

Would you like a DEMO?

We will be pleased to prepare an in situ or a remote demo for you.


Download SENSOCELL optical tweezers brochure


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