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Theoretical and numerical description of the interaction of process motors and a microtubule (W. Lecomte)

Thesis defence

On January 31, 2023


William Lecomte

Microtubules are key structures in cells, essential for cell division, intracellular transport and motility. 
These fine tubular structures, only a few micrometres in length, are subject to a non-equilibrium phenomenon known as dynamic instability, which consists of alternating phases of slow growth and rapid collapse. 
Although the last decades were devoted to the study of this phenomenon at the ends of the lattice, little is known about the dynamic processes along the shaft.
Recent in vitro observations, however, indicate a significant impact of processif motors on the dynamic processes and stability of the microtubule. 
Using a kinetic Monte Carlo method, I have developed a new theoretical model to describe the temporal evolution of a microtubule in the presence of a flow of processif motors that locally affect the structure of the lattice.
Among the many configurations that can be treated with this model, I focused in particular on the effect of kinesin-1 and yeast dynein on the microtubule lattice.
The results suggest that a small perturbation of the motors greatly accelerates dynamic processes such as microtubule breakage and remodelling.


On January 31, 2023
Complément date



Complément lieu

LIPhy, salle de conférence

Submitted on February 13, 2024

Updated on February 13, 2024