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Actin molecules are essential structural components of the cellular cytoskeleton. Here, we report a comprehensive analysis of F-actin's deformation behavior and highlight underlying mechanisms using steered molecular dynamics simulations (SMD). The investigation of F-actin was done under tension, compression, bending, and torsion. We report that the dissociation pattern of conformational locks at intrastrand and interstrand G-actin interfaces regulates the deformation response of F-actin. The conformational locks at the G-actin interfaces are portrayed by a spheroidal joint, interlocking serrated plates' analogy. Further, the SMD simulation approach was utilized to evaluate Young's modulus, flexural rigidity, persistent length, and torsional rigidity of F-actin, and the values obtained were found to be consistent with available experimental data. The evaluation of the mechanical properties of actin and the insight into the fundamental mechanisms contributing to its resilience described here are necessary for developing accurate models of eukaryotic cells and for assessing cellular viability and mobility.

Citation

Sharad V Jaswandkar, H M Nasrullah Faisal, Kalpana S Katti, Dinesh R Katti. Dissociation Mechanisms of G-actin Subunits Govern Deformation Response of Actin Filament. Biomacromolecules. 2021 Feb 08;22(2):907-917

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PMID: 33481563

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