Research objectives and content
We plan to elucidate the thermodynamics of energy transduction of an actin filament moving on a myosin sheet using a light scattering technique. A small-angle scattering geometry, together with a reference phase provided by a phase grating, should allow, according to preliminary calculations, to detect displacements in the 10 nm range. Direct informations on the actin dynamics will be provided by the autocorrelation function of the scattered light. This new non-perturbing technique should lead to data of major interest in the modelling of energy transduction of molecular motors and to study the transition from single to collective behaviours of actin as the density of actin heads is increased.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
The Institut Curie provides an excellent and well equipped environment with expertises in physics and biology. The expertise in light scattering and noise measurements of the candidate, together with the sample preparation skills at Institut Curie should allow to get significant advance in understanding the thermodynamics of molecular motors. A useful exchange of techniques and skills in complementary fields is expected. Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
The host institution has several joint programs with industrial partners as Rhone-Poulenc, Elf-Aquitaine and Michelin on the reproduction of the function of molecular motors at mesoscopic scales.