Bulletin of the American Physical Society
APS March Meeting 2021
Volume 66, Number 1
Monday–Friday, March 15–19, 2021; Virtual; Time Zone: Central Daylight Time, USA
Session F11: Physics of Cytoskeleton Across Scales III
11:30 AM–2:30 PM,
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Sponsoring Units: DBIO DSOFT
Chair: Serapion Pyrpassopoulos, Univ of Pennsylvania; James Liman, Rice Univ
Abstract: F11.00002 : Polymorphism of tubulin assemblies
11:42 AM–11:54 AM
When suddenly switching to a shrinking state during a catastrophe, the tubulin chains, known as protofilaments, splay apart and peel off from the microtubule tip, curving outwards. A spontaneous curvature of the protofilaments is therefore hypothesized to play a part in the dynamic instability of MTs. As their mechanical properties are influenced by the environmental conditions, such curvature terms are likely also responsible for the fascinating shape variability observed for tubulin assemblies beyond cylindrical MTs: flat sheets, ribbons, macrotubules and hoops.
By modelling tubulin aggregates as continuous elastic materials, we investigate how spontaneous curvature and anisotropic elastic properties influence the resulting equilibrium shape. Interestingly, this provides an insight on the role of mechanics in microtubule catastrophe.
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