Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 781456, 15 pages
Research Article

Coarse-Grained Simulation of Myosin-V Movement

Division of Mathematical Biology, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway, Mill Hill, London NW7 1AA, UK

Received 25 November 2011; Revised 1 March 2012; Accepted 14 March 2012

Academic Editor: Lee W. Yang

Copyright © 2012 Zoe Katsimitsoulia and William R. Taylor. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


We describe the development of a hierarchic modelling method applied to simulating the processive movement of the myosin-V molecular motor protein along an actin filament track. In the hierarchic model, three different levels of protein structure resolution are represented: secondary structure, domain, and protein, with the level of detail changing according to the degree of interaction among the molecules. The integrity of the system is maintained using a tree of spatially organised bounding volumes and distance constraints. Although applied to an actin-myosin system, the hierarchic framework is general enough so that it may easily be adapted to a number of other large biomolecular systems containing in the order of 100 proteins. We compared the simulation results with biophysical data, and despite the lack of atomic detail in our model, we find good agreement and can even suggest some refinements to the current model of myosin-V motion.