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Proceedings Paper

A mechanical model for the motility of actin filaments on myosin
Author(s): Dan Valeriu Nicolau; Florin Fulga; Dan V. Nicolau
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Paper Abstract

The interaction of actin filaments with myosin is crucial to cell motility, muscular contraction, cell division and other processes. The in vitro motility assay involves the motion of actin filaments on a substrate coated with myosin, and is used extensively to investigate the dynamics of the actomyosin system. Following on from previous work, we propose a new mechanical model of actin motility on myosin, wherein a filament is modeled as a chain of beads connected by harmonic springs. This imposes a limitation on the "stretching’ of the filament. The rotation of one bead with respect to its neighbours is also constrained in similar way. We implemented this model and used Monte Carlo simulations to determine whether it can predict the directionality of filament motion. The principal advantages of this model over our previous one are that we have removed the empirically correct but artificial assumption that the filament moves like a "worm’ i.e. the head determines the direction of movement and the rest of the filament "follows’ the head as well as the inclusion of dependencies on experimental rate constants (and so also on e.g. ATP concentration) via the cross-bridge cycle.

Paper Details

Date Published: 29 March 2004
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 5275, BioMEMS and Nanotechnology, (29 March 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.524307
Show Author Affiliations
Dan Valeriu Nicolau, Swinburne Univ. of Technology (Australia)
Florin Fulga, Swinburne Univ. of Technology (Australia)
Dan V. Nicolau, Swinburne Univ. of Technology (Australia)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5275:
BioMEMS and Nanotechnology
Dan V. Nicolau; Uwe R. Muller; John M. Dell, Editor(s)

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