Theoretical Analysis of Run Length Distributions for Coupled Motor Proteins
Kolomeisky, Anatoly B.
Motor proteins, also known as biological molecular motors, play important roles in various biological processes. In recent years, properties of single-motor proteins have been intensively investigated using multiple experimental and theoretical tools. However, in real cellular systems biological motors typically function in groups, but the mechanisms of their collective dynamics remain not well understood. Here we investigate theoretically distributions of run lengths for coupled motor proteins that move along linear tracks. Our approach utilizes a method of first-passage processes, which is supplemented by Monte Carlo computer simulations. Theoretical analysis allowed us to clarify several aspects of the cooperativity mechanisms for coupled biological molecular motors. It is found that the run length distribution for two motors, in contrast to single motors, is nonmonotonic. In addition, the transport efficiency of two-motor complexes might be strongly increased. We also argue that the degree of cooperativity is influenced by several characteristics of motor proteins such as the strength of intermolecular interactions, stall forces, dissociations constants, and the detachment forces. The application of our theoretical analysis for several motor proteins is also discussed.