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Title: Information flow, gating, and energetics in dimeric molecular motors
Molecular motors, kinesin and myosin, are dimeric consisting of two linked identical monomeric globular proteins. Fueled by the free energy generated by ATP hydrolysis, they walk on polar tracks (microtubule or filamentous actin) processively, which means that only one head detaches and executes a mechanical step while the other stays bound to the track. One motor head must regulate the chemical state of the other, referred to as “gating”, a concept that is still not fully understood. Inspired by experiments, showing that only a fraction of the energy from ATP hydrolysis is used to advance the kinesin motors against load, we demonstrate that the rest of the energy is associated with chemical transitions in the two heads. The coordinated chemical transitions involve communication between the two heads - a feature that characterizes gating. We develop a general framework, based on information theory and stochastic thermodynamics, and establish that gating could be quantified in terms of information flow between the motor heads. Applications to kinesin-1 and Myosin V show that information flow, with positive cooperativity, at external resistive loads less than a critical value, F c . When force exceeds F c , effective information flow ceases. Interestingly, F c , which is independent of the input energy generated through ATP hydrolysis, coincides with the force at which the probability of backward steps starts to increase. Our findings suggest that transport efficiency is optimal only at forces less than F c , which implies that these motors must operate at low loads under in vivo conditions.  more » « less
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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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