Math Biology Seminar: Leah Edelstein-Keshet

  • Date: 01/20/2015
  • Time: 15:30
Leah Edelstein-Keshet (UBC)


University of British Columbia


Models of molecular motors and their cargo: transport and spatial distribution


Dynein and kinesin are families of molecular motors that walk on microtubules (long structural biopolymers in living cells), transporting cargo such as vesicles along the cell length. Here I describe a recent project to model the distribution of motors and cargo (using PDE master equations), as well as the effective rate of transport across a long cell. We use a combination of simulations and quasi-steady-state (QSS) analysis developed by Bressloff and Newby (2010, 2013) to study these models. In the latter case, we use the QSS method to approximate the models by a Fokker-Planck equation that can be solved analytically. We find that the microtubule polarity distribution, the types of state transitions present and the rates of those transitions all contribute in a predictable way to the steady state spatial distribution and to the effective rate of transport in the cell. This work is joint with Jia Guo and Jun Allard, and (more recently) Duncan Dauvergne.

Other Information: 

Location: ESB 4133