DOI: 10.1101/505669Dec 23, 2018Paper

Chronology of motor-mediated microtubule streaming

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Arvind RavichandranGerhard Gompper


We introduce a computer-based simulation model for coarse-grained, effective motor-mediated interaction between microtubule pairs to study the time-scales that compose cytoplasmic streaming. We characterise microtubule dynamics in two-dimensional systems by chronologically arranging five distinct processes of varying duration that make up streaming, from microtubule pairs to collective dynamics. The structures found were polarity sorted due to the propulsion of antialigned microtubules. This also gave rise to the formation of large polar-aligned domains, and streaming at the domain boundaries. Correlation functions, mean squared displacements, and velocity distributions reveal a cascade of processes ultimately leading to microtubule streaming and advection, spanning multiple microtubule lengths. The characteristic times for the processes span over three orders of magnitude from fast single-microtubule processes to slow collective processes. Our approach can be used to directly test the importance of molecular components, such as motors and crosslinking proteins between microtubules, on the collective dynamics at cellular scale.

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