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Understanding cell locomotion: a mechanical approach

Student-Run Applied & Math Seminar

Speaker: Calina Copos, UC Davis
Location: 2112 MSB
Start time: Wed, Nov 30 2016, 12:10PM

Amoeboid motility has received attention recently due to its implication in the high rate of metastasis in certain sarcomas. This form of motility is characterized by repetitive cycles of rapid morphological expansion and contraction and highly coordinated traction forces exerted on the surface by crawling cells. Despite recent intense studies, the exact mechanism of rapid shape changes and how they drive cell motility remains an open question. Here, we develop a model to mechanistically explain how key cellular processes work in concert to robustly produce the observed cyclic oscillations in morphological changes and the synchronized adhesion patterns experimentally observed in motile Dictyostelium discoideum uni-cellular amoebas. In contrast to the biochemical and biophysical mechanisms that have been implicated in the coordination of cellular processes, we show that the reported features of amoeboid locomotion emerge from a simple mechanochemical model.

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