Mathematics Colloquia and Seminars
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G-proteins and directional sensing in neutrophil chemotaxisMathematical Biology
Cells must process spatial information from surface receptors in many biological contexts including development, neural plasticity, and immune responses. Chemotaxis, directed cellular movement along a chemical gradient, is a particularly extreme example. Human neutrophils can use spatial sensing mechanisms to detect and respond to as little as a 1% difference in ligand concentration across the length of a cell. While abstract models have suggested some network features that may be important, there still is no molecularly grounded model for directional sensing. Our recent results suggest that the specialization of G-proteins immediately downstream of the receptor is central to the process. We are investigating how the G-protein signaling dynamics control the accuracy of directional sensing.
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