Nature Physics Research Highlight
A recent publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) by Michael Hinczewski (University of Maryland), Riina Tehver (Denison University), and D. Thirumalai (University of Maryland), is highlighted in the November issue of Nature Physics.
The computational biophysics research group at Denison University studies a class of proteins called motor proteins. Riina Tehver and her students build theoretical and computational models that allow us to understand the connection between the structures of the proteins, their internal dynamics, and, how to connect that to their operation. The PNAS paper presents a new analytical model that describes the complex dynamics of a motor protein called myosin V. The motor can step forward, backwards or “stomp” in place. The theory describes a robust mechanism for movement that captures all the stepping pathways and predicts a range of viable parameters for molecular motors for future experiments or even motor design.