The movement of cells in response to a gradient in chemical concentration - known as chemotaxis - is crucial for the proper functioning of uni- and multicellular organisms. How a cell senses the chemical concentration gradient surrounding it, and what signal is transmitted to its motion apparatus is known as gradient sensing. The ability of a cell to sense gradients persists even when the cell is immobilized (i.e., its motion apparatus is deactivated). This suggests that important features of gradient sensing can be studied in isolation, decoupling this phenomenon from the movement of the cell. A mathematical model for gradient sensing in Dictyostelium cells and neutrophils was recently proposed. This consists of an adaptation/spatial sensing module. This spatial sensing module feeds into an amplification module, magnifying the effects of the former. In this paper, we analyze the spatial sensing module in detail and examine its signal transduction properties. We examine the response of this module to several inputs of experimental and biological relevance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)