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Modelling and Simulation

Working Group 8.41

Publications 8.41

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Title: Phase separation and bistability in a three-dimensional model for protein domain formation at biomembranes
Author(s): S. Alonso and M. Bär
Journal: Phys. Biol.
Year: 2010
Volume: 7
Issue: 4
Pages: 046012
IOP Publishing
DOI: 10.1088/1478-3975/7/4/046012
ISBN: doi:10.1088/1478-3975/7/4/046012
ISSN: 1478-3975
Web URL: http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1478-3975/7/4/046012
Keywords: Cell Membrane,Cell Membrane: chemistry,Cytosol,Cytosol: chemistry,Diffusion,Membrane Lipids,Membrane Lipids: chemistry,Membrane Proteins,Membrane Proteins: chemistry,Models,Molecular
Tags: 8.41,Membrane
Abstract: Proteins in living cells interact with membranes. They may bind to or unbind from the membrane to the cytosol depending on the lipid composition of the membrane and their interaction with cytosolic enzymes. Moreover, proteins can accumulate at the membrane and assemble in spatial domains. Here, a simple model of protein cycling at biomembranes is studied, when the total number of proteins is conserved. Specifically, we consider the spatio-temporal dynamics of MARCKS proteins and their interactions with enzymes facilitating translocation from and rebinding to the membrane. The model exhibits two qualitatively different mechanisms of protein domain formation: phase separation related to a long-wave instability of a membrane state with homogeneous protein coverage and stable coexistence of two states with different homogeneous protein coverage in bistable media. We evaluate the impact of the cytosolic volume on the occurrence of protein pattern formation by simulations in a three-dimensional model. We show that the explicit treatment of the volume in the model leads to an effective rescaling of the reaction rates. For a simplified model of protein cycling, we can derive analytical expressions for the rescaling coefficients and verify them by direct simulations with the complete three-dimensional model.

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