Continuous Model for Microtubule Dynamic instability with Pausing

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Frederick Laud Amoah-Darko

Clarkson University
"Continuous Model for Microtubule Dynamic instability with Pausing"
Microtubules (MTs) are protein polymers found in all eukaryotic cells. They are crucial for normal cell development, providing structural support for the cell and aiding in the transportation of proteins and organelles. In order to perform these functions, MTs go through random periods of relatively slow polymerization (growth) and very fast depolymerization (shrinkage), a unique type of dynamics called dynamic instability. The onset of a MT shortening event is called a catastrophe, while the event at which a MT starts to grow again is called a rescue. Although MT dynamic instability has traditionally been described solely in terms of growth and shortening, MTs have also been shown to pause for extended periods of time. Here, we present a novel mathematical model to describe the population dynamics of MTs. The goal is to use this model to determine MT catastrophe rates, in addition to time spent growing, shortening and pausing. These are quantities that can be used to compare our model results with experimental findings.

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