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Fluctuation theorems and the nonequilibrium thermodynamics of molecular motors David Andrieux and Pierre Gaspard
 

Summary: Fluctuation theorems and the nonequilibrium thermodynamics of molecular motors
David Andrieux and Pierre Gaspard
Center for Nonlinear Phenomena and Complex Systems, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Code Postal 231,
Campus Plaine, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium
Received 9 December 2005; published 11 July 2006
The fluctuation theorems for the currents and the dissipated work are considered for molecular motors which
are driven out of equilibrium by chemical reactions. Because of the molecular fluctuations, these nonequilib-
rium processes are described by stochastic models based on a master equation. Analytical expressions are
derived for the fluctuation theorems, allowing us to obtain predictions on the work dissipated in the motor as
well as on its rotation near and far from thermodynamic equilibrium. We show that the fluctuation theorems
provide a method to determine the affinity or thermodynamic force driving the motor. This affinity is given in
terms of the free enthalpy of the chemical reactions. The theorems are applied to the F1 rotary motor which
turns out to be a stiff system typically functioning in the nonlinear regime of nonequilibrium thermodynamics.
We show that this nonlinearity confers a robustness to the functioning of the molecular motor.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.74.011906 PACS number s : 87.16.Nn, 05.40. a, 05.70.Ln
I. INTRODUCTION
Thanks to the recent advances in biophysics, it is nowa-
days possible to observe the dynamics of single biomol-
ecules such as the molecular motors. Experiments have been
devoted to linear motors such as the actin-myosin or the

  

Source: Andrieux, David - Service de Physique Non-Linéaire and Mécanique Statistique, Université Libre de Bruxelles

 

Collections: Physics; Biology and Medicine