Evaluating spatial constraints in cellular assembly processes using a monte carlo approach.

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Abstract or Description

Biomolecular behavior commonly involves complex sets of interacting components that are challenging to understand through solution-based chemical theories. Molecular assembly is especially intriguing in the cellular environment because of its links to cell structure in processes such as chemotaxis. We use a coarse-grained Monte Carlo simulation to elucidate the importance of spatial constraints in molecular assembly. We have performed a study of actin filament polymerization through this space-aware probabilistic lattice-based model. Quantitative results are compared with nonspatial models and show convergence over a wide parameter space, but marked divergence over realistic levels corresponding to macromolecular crowding inside cells and localized actin concentrations found at the leading edge during cell motility. These conclusions have direct implications for cell shape and structure, as well as tumor cell migration.




Published In

Cell biochemistry and biophysics, 45, 2, 195-201.