Motility states in bidirectional cargo transport
1 Laboratory of Theoretical Physics, CNRS (UMR 8627), University Paris-Sud - Bât. 210, F-91405 Orsay Cedex, France
2 Fachrichtung Theoretische Physik, Universität des Saarlandes - D-66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
Received: 1 July 2015
Accepted: 12 September 2015
Intracellular cargos which are transported by molecular motors move stochastically along cytoskeleton filaments. In particular for bidirectionally transported cargos it is an open question whether the characteristics of their motion can result from pure stochastic fluctuations or whether some coordination of the motors is needed. The results of a mean-field (MF) model of cargo-motors dynamics proposed by Müller et al. (Müller M. J. et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 105 (2008) 4609) suggest the existence of states which are characterized by a symmetric bimodal distribution of cargo velocities. These states would result from a stochastic tug of war. Here we analyze the influence of the MF assumption on the cargo motion by considering a model that takes explicitly the position of each motor into account. We find that those states with symmetric bimodal distributions then disappear. As the MF model implicitly assumes some stepping synchronization between motors, we introduce a partial synchronization via an artificial mutual motor-motor activation, and show that the results of the MF model are then recovered but, even in this favorable case, only in the limit of a strong motor-motor activation and of a high number of motors. We conclude that the MF assumption is not relevant for intracellular transport.
PACS: 87.16.Uv – Active transport processes / 87.10.Mn – Stochastic modeling / 87.16.Nn – Motor proteins (myosin, kinesin dynein)
© EPLA, 2015