Pulling helices inside bacteria: imperfect helices and rings
Allard, J. F.
Rutenberg, A. D.
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We study steady-state configurations of intrinsically-straight elastic filaments constrained within rod-shaped bacteria that have applied forces distributed along their length. Perfect steady-state helices result from axial or azimuthal forces applied at filament ends, however azimuthal forces are required for the small pitches observed for MreB filaments within bacteria. Helix-like configurations can result from distributed forces, including coexistence between rings and imperfect helices. Levels of expression and/or bundling of the polymeric protein could mediate this coexistence.
Allard, J. F., and A. D. Rutenberg. 2009. "Pulling helices inside bacteria: imperfect helices and rings." Physical Review Letters 102(15): 158105.