Mathematical Biology Seminar

Michael Vershinin
University of Utah
Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy
3:05PM, Wednesday, October 20, 2010
LCB 225
Properties of nano-scale transport driven by multiple molecular motors: the expected and the unexpected.

Abstract: Active intracellular cargo transport along microtubules is driven by mechanoenzymes of the kinesin and dynein families. Recent experimental evidence has firmly established that the number of motors engaged in such transport is often greater than one (indirect evidence has suggested this for more than a decade). This is a very "uncomfortable" low N limit for statistical modeling. I will discuss our modeling approach for this problem, the role of fluctuations, and the non-trivial (even counterintuitive) implications of having more than one motor drive a cargo. I will particularly focus on the force-velocity curve for motor ensembles and the relation of mathematical predictions to in vivo and in vitro observations.