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Effect of fuel concentration and force on collective transport by a team of dynein motors



Motor proteins are essential components of intracellular transport inside eukaryotic cells. These protein molecules use chemical energy obtained from hydrolysis of ATP to produce mechanical forces required for transporting cargos inside cells, from one location to another, in a directed manner. Of these motors, cytoplasmic dynein is structurally more complex than other motor proteins involved in intracellular transport, as it shows force and fuel (ATP) concentration dependent step-size. Cytoplasmic dynein motors are known to work in a team during cargo transport and force generation. Here, we use a complete Monte-Carlo model of single dynein constrained by in vitro experiments, which includes the effect of both force and ATP on stepping as well as detachment of motors under force. We then use our complete Monte-Carlo model of single dynein motor to understand collective cargo transport by a team of dynein motors, such as dependence of cargo travel distance and velocity on applied force and fuel concentration. In our model, cargos pulled by a team of dynein motors do not detach rapidly under higher forces, confirming the experimental observation of longer persistence time of dynein team on microtubule under higher forces.