Soppina et al., (2014) PNAS

Soppina et al., (2014) PNAS

Welcome to SMART Lab: 

Our research is focused on understanding how molecular motor proteins engage in transporting various biological molecules to their action site spatially and temporally inside the cell (called 'intracellular cargo transport') and how defects in such transport system result in various human diseases? To achieve this, we employ broad and interdisciplinary approaches.    

What are Molecular Motors?

Molecular motor proteins are highly efficient nano protein machines (mechanochemical enzymes) that hydrolyze ATP and convert this chemical energy into mechanical work critical for most forms of movement we encounter in the cellular world. To learn more, please click here and here.

Why Molecular Motors?

In eukaryotic cells, long-distance intracellular and neuronal transport relies on molecular motor proteins (kinesins and dyneins) that convert the chemical energy of ATP hydrolysis into mechanical energy for force generation and motility along microtubule tracks. The motor proteins of kinesin and dynein superfamily have fundamental roles in diverse cellular and physiological functions including vesicle transport, signaling, mitosis, nuclear migration, viral trafficking, and development. Defects in such transports system have been implicated in a variety of genetic, developmental, and neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. However, the molecular mechanisms of intracellular and neuronal cargo transport, regulation, and their deficiencies in the context of human diseases are largely unknown.