Importance of anisotropy in detachment rates for force production and cargo transport by a team of motor proteins

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Abstract

Many cellular processes are driven by collective forces generated by a team consisting of multiple molecular motor proteins. One aspect that has received less attention is the detachment rate of molecular motors under mechanical force/load. While detachment rate of kinesin motors measured under backward force increases rapidly for forces beyond stall-force; this scenario is just reversed for non-yeast dynein motors where detachment rate from microtubule decreases, exhibiting a catch-bond type behavior. It has been shown recently that yeast dynein responds anisotropically to applied load, i.e. detachment rates are different under forward and backward pulling. Here, we use computational modeling to show that these anisotropic detachment rates might help yeast dynein motors to improve their collective force generation in the absence of catch-bond behavior. We further show that the travel distance of cargos would be longer if detachment rates are anisotropic. Our results suggest that anisotropic detachment rates could be an alternative strategy for motors to improve the transport properties and force production by the team.

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