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Traffic of single-headed motor proteins KIF1A: effects of lane changing

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DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.77.050902
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KIF1A kinesins are single-headed motor proteins which move on cylindrical nano-tubes called microtubules (MT). A normal MT consists of 13 protofilaments on which the equispaced motor binding sites form a periodic array. The collective movement of the kinesins on a MT is, therefore, analogous to vehicular traffic on multi-lane highways where each protofilament is the analogue of a single lane. Does lane-changing increase or decrease the motor flux per lane? We address this fundamental question here by appropriately extending a recent model [{\it Phys. Rev. E {\bf 75}, 041905 (2007)}]. By carrying out analytical calculations and computer simulations of this extended model, we predict that the flux per lane can increase or decrease with the increasing rate of lane changing, depending on the concentrations of motors and the rate of hydrolysis of ATP, the ``fuel'' molecules. Our predictions can be tested, in principle, by carrying out {\it in-vitro} experiments with fluorescently labelled KIF1A molecules.


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