Molecular motors are found throughout the cells of the human body and have many different and important roles. These micromachines move along filament tracks and have the ability to convert chemical energy into mechanical work that powers cellular motility. Different types of motors are characterized by different duty ratios, which is the fraction of time that a motor is attached to its filament. In the case of myosin II (a nonprocessive molecular machine with a low duty ratio), cooperativity between several motors is essential to induce motion along its actin filament track. In this work we use statistical mechanical tools to calculate the duty ratio of cooperative molecular motors. The model suggests that the effective duty ratio of nonprocessive motors that work in cooperation is lower than the duty ratio of the individual motors. The origin of this effect is the elastic tension that develops in the filament which is relieved when motors detach from the track.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics