Stall force of polymerizing microtubules and filament bundles
Physics Department, TU Dortmund University - 44221 Dortmund, Germany, EU
Accepted: 5 January 2011
We investigate stall force and polymerization kinetics of rigid protofilaments in a microtubule or interacting filaments in bundles under an external load force in the framework of a discrete growth model. We introduce the concecpt of polymerization cycles to describe the stochastic growth kinetics, which allows us to derive an exact expression for the stall force. We find that the stall force is independent of ensemble geometry and load distribution. Furthermore, the stall force is proportional to the number of filaments and increases linearly with the strength of lateral filament interactions. These results are corroborated by simulations, which also show a strong influence of ensemble geometry on growth kinetics below the stall force.
PACS: 87.16.Ka – Filaments, microtubules, their networks, and supramolecular assemblies / 87.16.A- – Theory, modeling, and simulations / 87.15.rp – Polymerization
© EPLA, 2011