A strong nonequilibrium bound for sorting of cross-linkers on growing biopolymers

Yuqing Qiu, Michael Nguyen, Glen M. Hocky, Aaron R. Dinner, Suriyanarayanan Vaikuntanathan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the role of nonequilibrium driving in self-organization is crucial for developing a predictive description of biological systems, yet it is impeded by their complexity. The actin cytoskeleton serves as a paradigm for how equilibrium and nonequilibrium forces combine to give rise to self-organization. Motivated by recent experiments that show that actin filament growth rates can tune the morphology of a growing actin bundle cross-linked by two competing types of actin-binding proteins [S. L. Freedman et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 116, 16192-16197 (2019)], we construct a minimal model for such a system and show that the dynamics of a growing actin bundle are subject to a set of thermodynamic constraints that relate its nonequilibrium driving, morphology, and molecular fluxes. The thermodynamic constraints reveal the importance of correlations between these molecular fluxes and offer a route to estimating microscopic driving forces from microscopy experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2102881118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number38
StatePublished - Sep 21 2021


  • Actin bundling
  • Fluctuation-response relations
  • Growth
  • Microscopic nonequilibrium driving
  • Stochastic thermodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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