The University of Southampton
Mathematical Sciences

Research project: Molecular motors

Currently Active: 
Yes

Molecular motors are proteins that transform chemical energy into mechanical work on a molecular level, generating forces and leading to motion.

Project Overview

Molecular motors are proteins that transform chemical energy into mechanical work on a molecular level, generating forces and leading to motion. We are studying myosin V, a processive molecular motor involved in intracellular transport and found in many animal cell types, particularly neurones. It has two heads that bind to an actin filament and a long neck region that attaches to its cargo, such as vesicles and organelles. The myosin molecule walks hand-over-hand along the actin track via the coordinated binding and release of its heads, fuelled by the hydrolysis of ATP. We use energetics to model the interaction of external load and intramolecular strain with the chemical cycle that governs the stepping action of myosin V, focusing on information transmission between its two heads.

We have compared different myosin V stepping models against available experimental data, and derived analytical results for the expected motor velocity and run length in various classes of discrete stochastic stepping cycle models.

Crystal structure of myosin V motor (public domain image)
Crystal structure of myosin V motor

Publications

N.J. Boon and R.B. Hoyle [2015] Detachment, Futile Cycling and Nucleotide Pocket Collapse in Myosin-V Stepping, to appear in Phys. Rev. E. Copyright © by the American Physical Society (APS). Postprint

N.J. Boon and R.B. Hoyle [2012] Exact Dynamic Properties of Molecular Motors, J. Chem. Phys. 137, 084102. doi: 10.1063/1.4746392 PDF Copyright (2012) American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. (Erratum: J. Chem. Phys. 141, 099901 (2014) doi:10.1063/1.4894754 PDF)

K.I. Skau, R.B. Hoyle and M.S. Turner [2006] A kinetic model describing the processivity of myosin-V. Biophys. J., 91 2475-2489. (List of typos)

Staff

Share this research project Share this on Facebook Share this on Google+ Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×