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G-proteins and directional sensing in neutrophil chemotaxis

Mathematical Biology

Speaker: Sean Collins, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, UC Davis
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Location: 2112 MSB
Start time: Mon, Nov 23 2015, 2:10PM

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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