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PublicationSoft Matter
Year2013
Volume9
Pages6072
International

FtsZ protein on bilayer membranes: effects of specific lateral bonds

Authors:Pablo GonzalezdePradoSalas , Mario Encinar del Pozo, Marisela Vélez Tirado, Pedro Tarazona
Groups of research:Biofunctional surfaces laboratory
We use a simple lattice model to explore the self-assembled structures of protein filaments. Monte Carlo simulations show polymorphic structures, formed by the competition between the bundling of
filaments, their branching and the spontaneous curvature. In the top-down approach, typical of
statistical physics, we compare the simulation results with experimental atomic force microscopy images of the bacterial protein FtsZ anchored on bilayer membranes. We identify the relevant aspects of the interactions between protein monomers, which are amplified as a collective effect of the whole system. From the perspective of soft-matter physics, the experimental system and its model representation provide an interesting example of living polymers with tunable interactions.
Keywords:bacterial cell division, FtsZ, computational modeling, atomic force micrsocopy
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