5 years ago

Enhanced Dynamics of Confined Cytoskeletal Filaments Driven by Asymmetric Motors

Enhanced Dynamics of Confined Cytoskeletal Filaments Driven by Asymmetric Motors
Gerrit A. Vliegenthart, Gerhard Gompper, Guglielmo Saggiorato, Thorsten Auth, Arvind Ravichandran


Cytoskeletal filaments and molecular motors facilitate the micron-scale force generation necessary for the distribution of organelles and the restructuring of the cytoskeleton within eukaryotic cells. Although the mesoscopic structure and the dynamics of such filaments have been studied in vitro and in vivo, their connection with filament polarity-dependent motor-mediated force generation is not well understood. Using 2D Brownian dynamics simulations, we study a dense, confined mixture of rigid microtubules (MTs) and active springs that have arms that cross-link neighboring MT pairs and move unidirectionally on the attached MT. We simulate depletion interactions between MTs using an attractive potential. We show that dimeric motors, with a motile arm on only one of the two MTs, produce large polarity-sorted MT clusters, whereas tetrameric motors, with motile arms on both microtubules, produce bundles. Furthermore, dimeric motors induce, on average, higher velocities between antialigned MTs than tetrameric motors. Our results, where MTs move faster near the confining wall, are consistent with experimental observations in Drosophila oocytes where enhanced microtubule activity is found close to the confining plasma membrane.

Publisher URL: http://www.cell.com/biophysj/fulltext/S0006-3495(17)30841-X

DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2017.07.016

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