Intermediate filaments; dynein; kinesin; vimentin; molecular motors; stochastic


Intermediate filaments are a key component of the cytoskeleton. Their trans- port along microtubules plays an essential role in the control of the shape and structural organization of cells. To identify the key parameters responsible for the control of intermediate filament transport, we generated a model of elastic filament transport by microtubule-associated dynein and kinesin. The model is also applicable to the transport of any elastically-coupled cargoes. We inves- tigate the effect of filament properties such as number of motor binding sites, length, and elasticity on motion of filaments. Additionally, we consider the ef- fect of motor properties, i.e. off rates, on filament transport. When one motor has a catch bond off rate it dictates the motion, whereas when motors have the same type of off rate filaments can alternate between retrograde and antero- grade motions. The elasticity of filaments optimizes the filament transport and the coordination of motors along the length of the filament.

Original Publication Citation

Journal of Theoretical Biology

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date





Physical and Mathematical Sciences



University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

Included in

Mathematics Commons