Multiscale polar theory of microtubule and motor-protein assemblies

Tong Gao, Robert Blackwell, Matthew A. Glaser, M. D. Betterton, Michael Shelley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Microtubules and motor proteins are building blocks of self-organized subcellular biological structures such as the mitotic spindle and the centrosomal microtubule array. These same ingredients can form new "bioactive" liquid-crystalline fluids that are intrinsically out of equilibrium and which display complex flows and defect dynamics. It is not yet well understood how microscopic activity, which involves polarity-dependent interactions between motor proteins and microtubules, yields such larger-scale dynamical structures. In our multiscale theory, Brownian dynamics simulations of polar microtubule ensembles driven by cross-linking motors allow us to study microscopic organization and stresses. Polarity sorting and cross-link relaxation emerge as two polar-specific sources of active destabilizing stress. On larger length scales, our continuum Doi-Onsager theory captures the hydrodynamic flows generated by polarity-dependent active stresses. The results connect local polar structure to flow structures and defect dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number048101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume114
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 27 2015

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assemblies
polarity
proteins
spindles
defects
activity (biology)
classifying
ingredients
hydrodynamics
continuums
fluids
liquids
simulation
interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Gao, T., Blackwell, R., Glaser, M. A., Betterton, M. D., & Shelley, M. (2015). Multiscale polar theory of microtubule and motor-protein assemblies. Physical Review Letters, 114(4), [048101]. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.048101

Multiscale polar theory of microtubule and motor-protein assemblies. / Gao, Tong; Blackwell, Robert; Glaser, Matthew A.; Betterton, M. D.; Shelley, Michael.

In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 114, No. 4, 048101, 27.01.2015.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gao, T, Blackwell, R, Glaser, MA, Betterton, MD & Shelley, M 2015, 'Multiscale polar theory of microtubule and motor-protein assemblies', Physical Review Letters, vol. 114, no. 4, 048101. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.048101
Gao, Tong ; Blackwell, Robert ; Glaser, Matthew A. ; Betterton, M. D. ; Shelley, Michael. / Multiscale polar theory of microtubule and motor-protein assemblies. In: Physical Review Letters. 2015 ; Vol. 114, No. 4.
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