The "asymmetric Brownian ratchet model", a variation of Feynman's ratchet and pawl system, is invoked to understand the kinesin walking behavior along a microtubule. The model system, consisting of a motor and a rail, can exhibit two distinct binding states, namely, the random Brownian state and the asymmetric potential state. When the system is transformed back and forth between the two states, the motor can be driven to "walk" in one direction. Previously, we suggested a fundamental mechanism, that is, bubble formation in a nanosized channel surrounded by hydrophobic atoms, to explain the transition between the two states. In this study, we propose a more realistic and viable switching method in our computer simulation of molecular motor walking. Specifically, we propose a thermosensitive polymer model with which the transition between the two states can be controlled by temperature pulses. Based on this new motor system, the stepping size and stepping time of the motor can be recorded. Remarkably, the "walking" behavior observed in the newly proposed model resembles that of the realistic motor protein. The bubble formation based motor not only can be highly efficient but also offers new insights into the physical mechanism of realistic biomolecule motors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry