Form-finding model shows how cytoskeleton network stiffness is realized.

Jinghai Gong, Daxu Zhang, Yiider Tseng, Baolong Li, Denis Wirtz, Benjamin William Schafer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In eukaryotic cells the actin-cytoskeletal network provides stiffness and the driving force that contributes to changes in cell shape and cell motility, but the elastic behavior of this network is not well understood. In this paper a two dimensional form-finding model is proposed to investigate the elasticity of the actin filament network. Utilizing an initially random array of actin filaments and actin-cross-linking proteins the form-finding model iterates until the random array is brought into a stable equilibrium configuration. With some care given to actin filament density and length, distance between host sites for cross-linkers, and overall domain size the resulting configurations from the form-finding model are found to be topologically similar to cytoskeletal networks in real cells. The resulting network may then be mechanically exercised to explore how the actin filaments deform and align under load and the sensitivity of the network's stiffness to actin filament density, length, etc. Results of the model are consistent with the experimental literature, e.g. actin filaments tend to re-orient in the direction of stretching; and the filament relative density, filament length, and actin-cross-linking protein's relative density, control the actin-network stiffness. The model provides a ready means of extension to more complicated domains and a three-dimensional form-finding model is under development as well as models studying the formation of actin bundles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere77417
JournalPLoS One
Volume8
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

cytoskeleton
Cytoskeleton
Actin Cytoskeleton
Actins
microfilaments
Stiffness
actin
Specific Gravity
crosslinking
Cell Shape
Elasticity
Eukaryotic Cells
elasticity (mechanics)
cell movement
Cell Movement
eukaryotic cells
Proteins
proteins
cells
Stretching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Gong, J., Zhang, D., Tseng, Y., Li, B., Wirtz, D., & Schafer, B. W. (2013). Form-finding model shows how cytoskeleton network stiffness is realized. PLoS One, 8(10), [e77417].

Form-finding model shows how cytoskeleton network stiffness is realized. / Gong, Jinghai; Zhang, Daxu; Tseng, Yiider; Li, Baolong; Wirtz, Denis; Schafer, Benjamin William.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 8, No. 10, e77417, 2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gong, J, Zhang, D, Tseng, Y, Li, B, Wirtz, D & Schafer, BW 2013, 'Form-finding model shows how cytoskeleton network stiffness is realized.', PLoS One, vol. 8, no. 10, e77417.
Gong J, Zhang D, Tseng Y, Li B, Wirtz D, Schafer BW. Form-finding model shows how cytoskeleton network stiffness is realized. PLoS One. 2013;8(10). e77417.
Gong, Jinghai ; Zhang, Daxu ; Tseng, Yiider ; Li, Baolong ; Wirtz, Denis ; Schafer, Benjamin William. / Form-finding model shows how cytoskeleton network stiffness is realized. In: PLoS One. 2013 ; Vol. 8, No. 10.
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