About Sharyn Endow, Ph.D.

Molecular motors are force-generating proteins that drive movements of the spindle and chromosomes in dividing cells. Research in my laboratory is on molecular motor proteins and how they work in the spindle to ensure normal chromosome distribution during cell division. We are currently trying to understand the mechanism of motor function – how motors use ATP to produce force and movement in cells – and the contributions by motors to spindle and chromosome dynamics during division.

Motors Research

Research in my laboratory focuses on molecular motors and their force-generating mechanisms. We are especially interested in defining the conformational changes in the kinesin motor proteins that produce force. Major questions that we would like to answer are the following:

  • How do kinesin motors use ATP to produce force?
  • What residues can be altered to increase force produced by the motors?
  • What are the forces across the motors during assembly and division?

We are using structure/function methods and molecular tension sensors to address these questions. The findings are relevant to the understanding of basic cellular processes, such as cell division and cellular transport, and their cellular mechanisms.