Interplay between Brownian motion and cross-linking controls bundling dynamics in actin networks

Ondrej Maxian, Aleksandar Donev, Alex Mogilner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Morphology changes in cross-linked actin networks are important in cell motility, division, and cargo transport. Here, we study the transition from a weakly cross-linked network of actin filaments to a heavily cross-linked network of actin bundles through microscopic Brownian dynamics simulations. We show that this transition occurs in two stages: first, a composite bundle network of small and highly aligned bundles evolves from cross-linking of individual filaments and, second, small bundles coalesce into the clustered bundle state. We demonstrate that Brownian motion speeds up the first stage of this process at a faster rate than the second. We quantify the time to reach the composite bundle state and show that it strongly increases as the mesh size increases only when the concentration of cross-links is small and that it remains roughly constant if we decrease the relative ratio of cross-linkers as we increase the actin concentration. Finally, we examine the dependence of the bundling timescale on filament length, finding that shorter filaments bundle faster because they diffuse faster.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1230-1245
Number of pages16
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 5 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


Dive into the research topics of 'Interplay between Brownian motion and cross-linking controls bundling dynamics in actin networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this