Kinetics of filament bundling with attractive interactions

Xueping Yu, A. E. Carlsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We study the kinetics of filament bundling by variable time-step Brownian-dynamics simulations employing a simplified attractive potential based on earlier atomic-level calculations for actin filaments. Our results show that collisions often cluster in time, due to memory in the random walk. The clustering increases the bundling opportunities. Small-angle collisions and collisions with short center-to-center distance are more likely to lead to bundling. Increasing the monomer-monomer attraction decreases the bundling time to a diffusional limit, which is determined by the capture cross-section and diffusion coefficients. The simulations clearly show that the bundling process consists of two sequential phases: rotation, by which two filaments align parallel to each other; and sliding, by which they maximize their contact length. Whether two filaments bundle or not is determined by the competition between rotation to a parallel state and escape. Increasing the rotational diffusion coefficient and attraction enhances rotation; decreasing attraction and increasing the translational diffusion coefficients enhance escape. Because of several competing effects, the filament length only affects the bundling time weakly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3679-3689
Number of pages11
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004


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