Crunching biofilament rings

Abstract : We discuss a curious example for the collective mechanical behavior of coupled non-linear monomer units entrapped in a circular filament. Within a simple model we elucidate how multistability of monomer units and exponentially large degeneracy of the filament's ground state emerge as a collective feature of the closed filament. Surprisingly, increasing the monomer frustration, i.e., the bending prestrain within the circular filament, leads to a conformational softening of the system. The phenomenon, that we term polymorphic crunching, is discussed and applied to a possible scenario for membrane tube deformation by switchable dynamin or FtsZ filaments. We find an important role of cooperative inter-unit interaction for efficient ring-induced membrane fission.
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EPL - Europhysics Letters, European Physical Society/EDP Sciences/Società Italiana di Fisica/IOP Publishing, 2014, 107 (6), 〈10.1209/0295-5075/107/68002〉
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Julien Fierling, Martin Michael Mueller, Herve Mohrbach, Albert Johner, Igor M. Kulic. Crunching biofilament rings. EPL - Europhysics Letters, European Physical Society/EDP Sciences/Società Italiana di Fisica/IOP Publishing, 2014, 107 (6), 〈10.1209/0295-5075/107/68002〉. 〈hal-01513416〉

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