Deforming biological membranes: How the cytoskeleton affects a polymerizing fiber

D. R. Daniels, J. C. Wang, R. W. Briehl, M. S. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

We give a theoretical treatment of the force exerted by a fluctuating membrane on a polymer rod tip, taking into account the effects of an underlying biological cytoskeleton by way of a simple harmonic dependence on displacement. We also consider theoretically and experimentally the dynamics of a growing fiber tip under the influence of such a fluctuation-induced membrane force, including the effects of an underlying cytoskeletal network. We compare our model with new experimental data for the growth of hemoglobin fibers within red blood cells, revealing a good agreement. We are also able to estimate the force and membrane/cytoskeletal displacement required to stall growth of, or buckle, a growing fiber. We discuss the significance of our results in a biological context, including how the properties of the membrane and cytoskeleton relate to the thermodynamics of rod polymerization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024903
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume124
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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