Polymerization kinetics and equilbria

Louis Hom lhom at nature.berkeley.edu
Tue May 20 20:03:56 EST 1997

There is a cellular protein called actin that polymerizes into filaments
called F-actin (the monomeric form is called G-actin).  These filaments
have nonequivalent ends, the (+) end -- sometimes called the fast-growing
end -- and the (-) end -- which would be the slow-growing end. 
	But it's not just that the kinetics of addition are different for
each end;  the (+) end has a higher affinity for monomers than the (-) end.
	So my question is this:  is it the case that addition to the (+)
end is faster simply because it is further away from the equilibrium
concentration?  if one wanted to study this, how would one approach it?
would you just compare the rate of addition at each end at, say, 5 times
the equilibrium concentration for that end?
	This ain't for a class or anything.  It's just me thinking too
Lou Hom >K '93				"Nobody ever went broke
lhom at nature.berkeley.edu 		 underestimating the taste
http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~lhom	 of the American public." --Mencken.

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