Stochastic modelling of filopodial growth

Ulrich Dobramysl (University of Cambridge)

University Place 6.210,

Filopodia are finger-like membrane protrusions that are used to probe and interact with the environment in many eukaryotic cell types. Polymerization dynamics of actin filaments, comprising the structural core of filopodia, largely determine their instantaneous lengths and overall lifetimes and require the transport of G-actin monomers along the membrane tube. I will present our recent work on steric effects and particle-based diffusion modelling inside filopodial actin bundles. I will talk about our simulation approach and the emergence of intriguing meta-stable states leading to the gradual hollowing of filament bundles which demonstrates that excluded volume effects in the context of reaction-diffusion processes may lead to unexpected geometric growth patterns.

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