Biomolecular motors are typically studied in a top-down
approach, by observing the function, kinetics, and structure
of existing motors. Once one has developed a basic
understanding of motor function in this way, it is desirable
to test this understanding by attempting to construct a
motor from the bottom up. Of particular interest is the use
of proteins as building blocks, like biology. Here we
present such an ongoing approach. The ‘Tumbleweed’, a
synthetic protein motor designed to move along a linear
track . This concept uses three discrete ligand-dependent
DNA-binding domains to perform rectified diffusion along a
synthesized DNA molecule. I will present the motor concept
and give an overview on its experimental realization. Then,
I will focus on modelling efforts that were used to
understand the expected motor performance, and to guide its
 B. Bromley, N. Kuwada, M. Zuckermann, R. Donadini, L.
Samii, G. Blab, G. Gemmen, B. Lopez, P. Curmi, N. R. Forde,
D. N. Woolfson, and H. Linke, The Tumbleweed: Towards a
synthetic protein motor. HFSP J. 3, 204 (2009).
 N. Kuwada, G. Blab, and H. Linke, A Master equation
approach to modeling an articial protein motor
arxiv.org/abs/1004.1114, accepted by J. Chem. Phys. (2010).
 Kuwada et al. Tuning the performance of an artificial
protein motor. Phys Rev E (2011) vol. 84 (3) pp. 031922