Keywords

cadherin, cell-cell adhesion, immersed boundary method

Abstract

The actin cytoskeleton plays a role in cell-cell adhesion but its specific function is not clear. Actin might anchor cadherins or drive membrane protrusions in order to facilitate cell-cell adhesion. Using a mathematical model of the forces involved in cadherin-based adhesion we investigate its possible functions. The immersed boundary method is used to model the cell membrane and cortex with cadherin binding forces added as linear springs. The simulations indicate that cells in suspension can develop normal cell-cell contacts without actin-based cadherin anchoring or membrane protrusions. The cadherins can be fixed in the membrane or free to move and the end results are similar. For adherent cells, the actin cytoskeleton must play an active role for the cells to establish cell-cell contact regions similar to those observed in vitro.

Original Publication Citation

Physical Review E79(3): 031918 (2009)

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2009

Publisher

American Physical Society

College

Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Department

Mathematics

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