Journal article

Membrane Tension Can Enhance Adaptation to Maintain Polarity of Migrating Cells

Cole Zmurchok, Jared Collette, Vijay Rajagopal, William R Holmes



Migratory cells are known to adapt to environments that contain wide-ranging levels of chemoattractant. Although biochemical models of adaptation have been previously proposed, here, we discuss a different mechanism based on mechanosensing, in which the interaction between biochemical signaling and cell tension facilitates adaptation. We describe and analyze a model of mechanochemical-based adaptation coupling a mechanics-based physical model of cell tension coupled with the wave-pinning reaction-diffusion model for Rac GTPase activity. The mathematical analysis of this model, simulations of a simplified one-dimensional cell geometry, and two-dimensional finite element simulations of deformi..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by National Science Foundation, United States

Funding Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge Christopher Bradley for helpful discussions on numerical implementation of the coupled mechanics and reaction-diffusion simulations and Andreas Buttenschon for helpful discussions of the 1D model. This work was supported by a National Science Foundation, United States, grant DMS1562078 (to W.R.H.) and a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellowship Award (to C.Z.).