An illustration shows two load-bearing kinesins as they carry cargo along a microtubule (cyan). Rice University and University of Houston researchers determined that motor proteins respond best to strong forces and hardly at all to weak ones, even those applied by motors attached to the same cargo. In this example, the leading kinesin (LK) carries most of the load, with motor heads (blue) activated by a neck linker (yellow) that connects to the stalk (red) and senses the presence of the cargo.

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