On the stall force for growing microtubules
Eur. Biophys. J. , Volume 29 p. 2- 6
The assembly of microtubules generates forces that play a role in cellular motility processes such as the motion of chromosomes during mitosis. Recently, Mogilner and Oster proposed a model for the growth of microtubules that agrees quantitatively with the force-velocity relation measured for individual microtubules. In addition, the authors predicted that the stall force for any polymer consisting of N independently growing protofilaments should increase as the square root of N. We simulated this model and found that the stall force increases linearly with N, and is in fact consistent with the maximum force predicted by thermodynamic arguments. We show that this discrepancy can be explained by a more careful treatment of the "off-term" in the Mogilner-Ostermodel.