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Curved membrane proteins that recruit actin polymerization: Cellular protrusions and Lamellipodia

CMCB Life Sciences Seminar

Date:05.03.2020, 13:00 - 14:00
Speaker: Nir Gov, Weizmann Institute of Science (Department of Chemical and Biological Physics)
Location: CRTD, ground floor, auditorium left
Host: Elisabeth Fischer-Friedrich


5 most important publications:

Gov, Nir S., and Ajay Gopinathan. "Dynamics of membranes driven by actin polymerization." Biophysical journal 90.2 (2006): 454-469.

Peleg, Barak, et al. "Propagating cell-membrane waves driven by curved activators of actin polymerization." PloS one 6.4 (2011).

Gov, N. S. "Guided by curvature: shaping cells by coupling curved membrane proteins and cytoskeletal forces." Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 373.1747 (2018): 20170115.

Fošnarič, M., Penič, S., Iglič, A., Kralj-Iglič, V., Drab, M., & Gov, N. S. (2019). Theoretical study of vesicle shapes driven by coupling curved proteins and active cytoskeletal forces. Soft Matter, 15(26), 5319-5330.

Graziano, Brian R., et al. "Cell confinement reveals a branched-actin independent circuit for neutrophil polarity." PLoS biology 17.10 (2019).


Membrane proteins, either trans-membrane or adsorbed, can cause a local bending of the membrane, denoted as "spontaneous curvature". Such proteins, usually within a complex of proteins and lipids, curve the membrane due to its shape. However, when such a complex can recruit actin polymerization, there is an additional protrusive force pushing the membrane. The coupling between the local concentration of curved membrane complexes and the protrusive forces of the actin cytoskeleton gives rise to spontaneous shape transitions of the membrane. We present a theoretical study of this process, where for highly deformed shapes we use numerical simulations. The shapes we find shed light on common actin-driven membrane shapes observed in cells, such as the dorsal ruffles and the lamellipodia of motile cells.

Everybody is very welcome!



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