TCB Publications - Abstract

Ilia A. Solov'yov, Henrik Mouritsen, and Klaus Schulten. Acuity of a cryptochrome and vision based magnetoreception system in birds. Biophysical Journal, 99:40-49, 2010. (PMC: 2895366)

SOLO2010 The magnetic compass of birds is embedded in the visual system and it has been hypothesized that the primary sensory mechanism is based on a radical pair reaction. Previous models of magnetoreception have assumed that the radical-pair forming molecules are rigidly fixed in space, and this assumption has been a major objection to the suggested hypothesis. In this paper, we investigate theoretically how much disorder is permitted for the radical-pair forming protein based magnetic compass in the eye to remain functional. Our study shows that only one rotational degree of freedom of the radical-pair forming protein needs to be partially constrained, while the other two rotational degrees of freedom do not impact the magnetoreceptive properties of the protein. The result implies that any membrane associated protein is sufficiently restricted in its motion to function as a radical-pair-based magnetoreceptor. We relate our theoretical findings to the cryptochromes, currently considered the likeliest candidate to furnish radical-pair based magnetoreception.

Download Full Text

The manuscripts available on our site are provided for your personal use only and may not be retransmitted or redistributed without written permissions from the paper's publisher and author. You may not upload any of this site's material to any public server, on-line service, network, or bulletin board without prior written permission from the publisher and author. You may not make copies for any commercial purpose. Reproduction or storage of materials retrieved from this web site is subject to the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, Title 17 U.S.C.

Download full text: PDF (691.6KB), Supplemental Material (46.3MB) - Supplementary PDF