Expansion and polarity sorting in microtubule-dynein bundles

Assaf Zemel, Alex Mogilner

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Abstract

Interactions of multiple molecular motors with dynamic polymers, such as actin and microtubules, form the basis for many processes in the cell cytoskeleton. One example is the active 'sorting' of microtubule bundles by dynein molecular motors into aster-like arrays of microtubules; in these bundles dynein motors cross-link and slide neighboring microtubules apart. A number of models have been suggested to quantify the active dynamics of cross-linked bundles of polar filaments. In the case of densely packed bundles, however, a major complication arises from the fact that each microtubule interacts with multiple neighboring filaments. To explicitly take these interactions into account we performed detailed computer simulations in which the equations of motion for all microtubules in the bundle were iteratively solved. Our simulations demonstrate the phenomenon of polarity sorting and reveal the variable-rate of the concurrent bundle expansion and its dependence on the nature of the microtubule-motor interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-25
Number of pages9
JournalProgress of Theoretical Physics Supplement
Issue number173
StatePublished - 2008

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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