Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 31108720
Phys Rev E 2019 Apr;99(4-1):042414
Intermediate filaments are long elastic fibers that are transported by the microtubule-associated motor proteins kinesin and dynein inside the cell. How elastic filaments are efficiently transported by antagonistic motors is not well understood and is difficult to measure with current experimental techniques. Adapting the tug-of-war paradigm for vesiclelike cargos, we develop a mathematical model to describe the motion of an elastic filament punctually bound to antagonistic motors. As observed in cells, up to three modes of transport are obtained; dynein-driven retrograde, kinesin-driven anterograde fast motions, and a slow motion. Motor properties and initial conditions that depend on intracellular context regulate the transport of filaments. Filament elasticity is found to affect both the mode and the efficiency of transport. We further show that the coordination of motors along the filament emerges from the interplay between intracellular context and elastic properties of filaments.