Mechanics of Motor Proteins and the Cytoskeleton

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9780878933341: Mechanics of Motor Proteins and the Cytoskeleton
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This text is for biology, biochemistry and chemistry students who want to learn about the principles of protein mechanics and how it applies to the morphology and motility of cells. Understanding how motors and the cytoskeleton operate requires mechanical concepts such as force, elasticity and damping. Introductory physics textbooks address these concepts, yet they are concerned primarily with macroscopic systems, whose motions are qualitatively different from the highly damped, diffusive motion of individual molecules; this book provides a physical foundation for molecular mechanics. Part I explains how small particles like proteins respond to mechanical, thermal, and chemical forces, Part II focuses on cytoskeletal filaments, and Part III focuses on motor proteins. The treatments are unified in the respect that they are organized around principles rather than proteins: chapters are centered on topics such as structure, chemistry, and mechanics, and different filaments or motors are discussed together.

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JONATHON HOWARD is Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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"The cytoskeleton is an area of intense research and we are in danger of drowning in a sea of facts. A textbook is needed which starts from first principles and leads to an understanding of the dynamics of the system. And here is that book."
--Edwin Taylor, Nature


"The book is a great launching point for gaining a biophysical understanding of the current detailed literature of motility which is increasingly filled with mathematical models describing motility data. As such, it will benefit students of a wide range of biological and physical backgrounds who are interested in understanding the nuts-and-bolts of cellular motility."
--Stephen J. King, Cell


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