Regular Article - Living Systems
Effects of cytoskeletal network mesh size on cargo transport
Physics Department, Syracuse University, Crouse Drive, 13104, Syracuse, NY, USA
2 Department of Physics, University of California, Merced, 5200 North Lake Rd, 95343, Merced, CA, USA
Accepted: 27 September 2023
Published online: 10 November 2023
Intracellular transport of cargoes in the cell is essential for the organization and functioning cells, especially those that are large and elongated. The cytoskeletal networks inside large cells can be highly complex, and this cytoskeletal organization can have impacts on the distance and trajectories of travel. Here, we experimentally created microtubule networks with varying mesh sizes and examined the ability of kinesin-driven quantum dot cargoes to traverse the network. Using the experimental data, we deduced parameters for cargo detachment at intersections and away from intersections, allowing us to create an analytical theory for the run length as a function of mesh size. We also used these parameters to perform simulations of cargoes along paths extracted from the experimental networks. We find excellent agreement between the trends in run length, displacement, and trajectory persistence length comparing the experimental and simulated trajectories.
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