Traffic regulated by junctions: A statistical model motivated by cytoskeletal transport
Adélaïde Raguin, Université Montpellier 2
Active intracellular transport of motor proteins along the cytoskeleton is an important mechanism essential to accomplish many biological functions in eukaryotic cells. For instance, motor protein transport is involved in cell migration, feeding of the cell, and cell contractions. Importantly, several neurodegenerative diseases are a consequence of the malfunctioning of motor protein transport.
Motor protein transport forms as well a challenge in statistical physics. It consists in the study of a non-equilibrium transport process along a complex and dynamic network. The totally asymmetric simple exclusion process (TASEP) can be considered as a minimal model to study motor protein transport. Along a single segment this model has been well studied, but how active particles organize along a complex networks has not been studied extensively. Motivated by recent experimental works based on tracer experiments of motor proteins moving along junctions of intersecting cytoskeletal filaments we formulate the TASEP along a junction. The first part of my talk will deal with how the microscopic traffic dynamics at a junction can modulate the transport on the whole network. In the second part of my talk I will introduce a more realistic model of motor protein transport at the junctions. Using the tools developed earlier I can characterize the various stationary states of motors moving along complex junctions as arising in living cells.