The polymerization ratchet model explains the force-velocity relation for growing microtubules

Alexander Mogilner, George Oster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

The polymerization of filamentous proteins generates mechanical forces which drive many cellular processes. Dogterom and Yurke measured the force- velocity relation generated by a single microtubule. They found that the force is generally in the range predicted by the 'polymerization ratchet' mechanism, but the force-velocity relationship decreased faster than that theory predicted. Here we generalize the polymerization ratchet model to take into account the 'subsidy effect' that arises because a microtubule consists of 13 protofilaments. With this generalization the model fits the experimental data well. The biological implications of the polymerization ratchet model are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)235-242
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Biophysics Journal
Volume28
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

Keywords

  • Filamentous proteins
  • Force- velocity relationship
  • Microtubules
  • Polymerization rachet model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

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