Volume 83, Number 5, September 2008
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Published online||02 September 2008|
Spatial signal amplification in cell biology: A lattice-gas model for self-tuned phase ordering
Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, Università di Napoli ”Federico II” - via Cintia, 80126, Napoli, Italy, EU
2 Politecnico di Torino and CNISM - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10121 Torino, Italy, EU
3 INFN - via Pietro Giuria 1, 10125 Torino, Italy, EU
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 23 July 2008
Experiments show that the movement of eukaryotic cells is regulated by a process of phase separation of two competing enzymes on the cell membrane, that effectively amplifies shallow external gradients of chemical attractant. Notably, the cell is able to self-tune the final enzyme concentrations to an equilibrium state of phase coexistence, for a wide range of the average attractant concentration. We propose a simple lattice model in which, together with a short-range attraction between enzymes, a long-range repulsion naturally arises from physical considerations, that easily explains such observed behavior.
PACS: 05.70.Jk – Critical point phenomena / 05.65.+b – Self-organized systems / 87.17.Jj – Cell locomotion, chemotaxis
© EPLA, 2008
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