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Protein machines make fluctuating flows unconsciously

Date:
July 31, 2015
Source:
Hiroshima University
Summary:
Protein machines, regardless of their specific functions, can collectively induce fluctuating hydrodynamic flows and substantially enhance the diffusive motions of particles in the cell, an international research group has demonstrated.
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An international research group has demonstrated that protein machines, regardless of their specific functions, can collectively induce fluctuating hydrodynamic flows and substantially enhance the diffusive motions of particles in the cell.

Biological cells contain large numbers of active proteins that repeatedly change their conformations. These protein machines have a variety of specific functions, acting as motors, ion pumps, or enzymes, and they need a supply of ATP or other substrates to maintain their cyclic operation.

Professor Alexander S. Mikhailov (Department of Physical Chemistry, Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society, and Research Center for the Mathematics on Chromatin Live Dynamics [RcMcD] at Hiroshima University) and Professor Raymond Kapral (Department of Chemistry, University of Toronto and Institute for Theoretical Physics, Technical University of Berlin) have suggested that these proteins generate nonthermal hydrodynamic flows, which enhance the diffusive motions of particles. Furthermore, they have theoretically demonstrated a chemotaxis-like drift in the presence of gradients in concentrations of active proteins or substrate (ATP). Such universal nonequilibrium effects hold true for all passive particles and for the protein machines themselves.

As the fluctuating flow fields arise from nonequilibrium effects, work or energy can be extracted from the fields. In other words, these active proteins can supply power to the system in a distributed way, besides performing their specific functions. This may change our views of active processes in the cell.


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Materials provided by Hiroshima University. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alexander S. Mikhailov, Raymond Kapral. Hydrodynamic collective effects of active protein machines in solution and lipid bilayers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015; 112 (28): E3639 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1506825112

Cite This Page:

Hiroshima University. "Protein machines make fluctuating flows unconsciously." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 July 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150731103648.htm>.
Hiroshima University. (2015, July 31). Protein machines make fluctuating flows unconsciously. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150731103648.htm
Hiroshima University. "Protein machines make fluctuating flows unconsciously." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150731103648.htm (accessed May 26, 2017).

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