Traffic of Molecular Motors Through Tube-Like Compartments

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The traffic of molecular motors through open tube-like compartments is studied using lattice models. These models exhibit boundary-induced phase transitions related to those of the asymmetric simple exclusion process (ASEP) in one dimension. The location of the transition lines depends on the boundary conditions at the two ends of the tubes. Three types of boundary conditions are studied: (A) Periodic boundary conditions which correspond to a closed torus-like tube. (B) Fixed motor densities at the two tube ends where radial equilibrium holds locally; and (C) Diffusive motor injection at one end and diffusive motor extraction at the other end. In addition to the phase diagrams, we also determine the profiles for the bound and unbound motor densities using mean field approximations and Monte Carlo simulations. Our theoretical predictions are accessible to experiments.

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