A review of models of fluctuating protrusion and retraction patterns at the leading edge of motile cells

Gillian L. Ryan, Naoki Watanabe, Dimitrios Vavylonis

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    34 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A characteristic feature of motile cells as they undergo a change in motile behavior is the development of fluctuating exploratory motions of the leading edge, driven by actin polymerization. We review quantitative models of these protrusion and retraction phenomena. Theoretical studies have been motivated by advances in experimental and computational methods that allow controlled perturbations, single molecule imaging, and analysis of spatiotemporal correlations in microscopic images. To explain oscillations and waves of the leading edge, most theoretical models propose nonlinear interactions and feedback mechanisms among different components of the actin cytoskeleton system. These mechanisms include curvature-sensing membrane proteins, myosin contraction, and autocatalytic biochemical reaction kinetics. We discuss how the combination of experimental studies with modeling promises to quantify the relative importance of these biochemical and biophysical processes at the leading edge and to evaluate their generality across cell types and extracellular environments.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)195-206
    Number of pages12
    JournalCytoskeleton
    Volume69
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr 1

    Keywords

    • Actin
    • Cell motility
    • Lamellipodium dynamics
    • Mathematical modeling
    • Single molecule microscopy

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Structural Biology
    • Cell Biology

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A review of models of fluctuating protrusion and retraction patterns at the leading edge of motile cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this