By Peter Lenz

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In particular, recognizing the importance of the nonlinear friction allows us to understand the saltatory mutant as a system working in a “stick-slip” regime familiar in solid friction. In general, the system gets into the saltatory regime at a well-defined threshold called a Hopf bifurcation. In its vicinity, measurable quantities such as velocity and comet density modulations are sinusodal functions (of time and space, respectively). 2. It is important to understand that the role of mutation is simply to drive the system in a region of phase space where the behavior is saltatory, but that many other external perturbations could have the same result without changing the genome.

The physical mechanism behind this depolymerization is not obvious: it could be that actin filaments can spontaneously break anywhere, or that reticulation points stabilize the structure and provide the rate-limiting step in the depolymerization, or that there is a one-to-one mapping of the pointed end density on the connected monomer density. In all cases, a constant average number of monomers should leave the gel for each event. Note that a depolymerization from the pointed ends of the filaments cannot generally be represented by such a mathematical structure.

1μM final concentration 38 Kinneret Keren and Julie A. 3. Actin meshwork structure in motile keratocytes. Electron microscopy images of the actin meshwork in detergent-extracted cells prepared using the platinum replica technique. (a) Overview of a motile cell; (b) actin network in the lamellipodium from the leading edge (top) to the transitional zone (bottom); (c) brushlike zone at the leading edge with numerous filament ends; (d) smooth actin filament network in the middle part of lamellipodium.

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