Non-Fiction Books:

Mechanics of Motor Proteins and the Cytoskeleton


Paperback / softback

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Mechanics of Motor Proteins and the Cytoskeleton by Jonathon Howard

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Motor proteins are molecular machines that convert chemical energy from ATP hydrolysis into mechanical work, which powers cell motility. Over the last ten years, single-molecule techniques and structural studies have led to rapid progess in understanding how these biological motors operate. How do they move? How do they generate force? How much fuel do they consume, and with what efficiency? Mechanics of Motor Proteins and the Cytoskeleton brings these new findings together.This book is for biology, physics, and engineering students who want to learn about the principles of protein mechanics and how it applies to the morphology and motility of cells. Understanding how motors and the cytoskeleton operate requires mechanical concepts such as force, elasticity, damping, and work. Introductory physics textbooks address these concepts, yet they are concerned primarily with macroscopic systems, whose motions are qualitatively different from the highly damped, diffusive motion of individual molecules.Mechanics of Motor Proteins and the Cytoskeleton provides a physical foundation for molecular mechanics. Part I explains how small particles like proteins respond to mechanical, thermal, and chemical forces, Part II focuses on cytoskeletal filaments, and Part III focuses on motor proteins. The treatments are unified in the respect that they are organized around principles rather than proteins: chapters are centered on topics such as structure, chemistry, and mechanics, and different filaments or motors are discussed together.The book assumes a rudimentary knowledge of cell biology as well as freshman physics, though all concepts are introduced from first principles, and numerous boxed examples and figures aid the non-mathematical reader. For the mathematically inclined, detailed proofs of important results are included in the Appendix.

Author Biography

Jonathon Howard is Eugene Higgins Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and Professor of Physics at the Yale School of Medicine. He earned a Ph.D. in Neurobiology at Australian National University, doing postdoctoral research there as well as at the University of Bristol and the University of California, San Francisco. The Howard Lab uses highly sensitive techniques to visualize and manipulate individual biological molecules, seeking to understand the interaction rules that allow molecules to work together to form highly organized and dynamic cellular structures.The writing of Mechanics of Motor Proteins and the Cytoskeleton was inspired by Dr. Howard's teaching of a course on Cell Motility at the University of Washington.
Release date NZ
December 6th, 2005
Country of Publication
United States
384 p.
Oxford University Press Inc
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