Membrane waves driven by actin and Myosin

Phys Rev Lett. 2007 Apr 20;98(16):168103. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.98.168103. Epub 2007 Apr 20.


We present a model which couples the membrane with the protrusive forces of actin polymerization and contractile forces of molecular motors, such as myosin. The actin polymerization at the membrane is activated by freely diffusing membrane proteins that have a spontaneous curvature. Molecular motors are recruited to the polymerizing actin filaments, from a constant reservoir, and produce a contractile force. All the forces and variables are treated in the linear limit. Our results show that for convex membrane proteins the myosin activity gives rise to robust transverse membrane waves, similar to those observed on different cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / physiology*
  • Cell Membrane / physiology*
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology*
  • Membrane Fluidity / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Motor Proteins / physiology*
  • Myosins / physiology*


  • Actins
  • Molecular Motor Proteins
  • Myosins