Collective Effects in Biological Motor Systems

Biological motors are specialized motor proteins that act on the nanometer scale and convert chemical energy into mechanical work and motion. All active transport processes and movements which occur within a living cell are driven by such motors. We study two fundamental model systems with respect t...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Assmann, Marcus-Alexander
Format: Work
Language:English
Published: Philipps-Universität Marburg 2010
Physik
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Summary:Biological motors are specialized motor proteins that act on the nanometer scale and convert chemical energy into mechanical work and motion. All active transport processes and movements which occur within a living cell are driven by such motors. We study two fundamental model systems with respect to collective effects. In the first part of this thesis we present several models for early endosome dynamics in the biological fungal model system Ustilago maydis. We propose a novel mechanism for bidirectional cargo transport and compare our results to in vivo experiments by Schuster et al. We find quantitative characteristics for each model suggesting that bidirectional intracellular movement in vivo is organized in a collective manner. In the second part of this thesis we study the collective stretch-activation and stretch-inactivation behavior of voltage-gated ion channels in the fundamental Hodgkin-Huxley model system. We therefore present a simple modification of the Hodgkin-Huxley model and perform extensive simulations of the equations of motion. We compare our results to existing experimental data and discuss possible applications such as disease.
DOI:https://doi.org/10.17192/ed.2010.0003