Identification and partial characterization of six members of the kinesin superfamily in Drosophila

Russell J. Stewart, Patricia Pesavento, David N. Woerpel, Lawrence S B Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Recent evidence has suggested that the principal polypeptide component of the microtubule motor protein kinesin may be a member of an extended superfamily of related motor proteins. To gain insight into how large the kinesin superfamily might be and to begin determining the potential functions in which various superfamily members might participate, we identified and partially characterized six additional members of the Drosophila kinesin superfamily. Genes encoding these proteins were identified by using the polymerase chain reaction with degenerate primers corresponding to highly conserved regions of the kinesin heavy-chain motor domain. Partial sequencing of the six genes revealed that they encode proteins that are 40-60% identical to the motor domain of the kinesin heavy-chain sequence. The cytogenetic locations as well as the developmental and tissue-specific expression patterns have been determined. The data suggest that each of these six kinesin-like proteins may have functions in a wide variety of cell types and tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8470-8474
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 1 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Microtubules
  • Polymerase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Genetics


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