Modeling of protrusion phenotypes driven by the actin-membrane interaction

Mihaela Enculescu, Mohsen Sabouri-Ghomi, Gaudenz Danuser, Martin Falcke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


We propose a mathematical model for simulating the leading-edge dynamics of a migrating cell from the interplay among elastic properties, architecture of the actin cytoskeleton, and the mechanics of the membrane. Our approach is based on the description of the length and attachment dynamics of actin filaments in the lamellipodium network. It is used to determine the total force exerted on the membrane at each position along the leading edge and at each time step. The model reproduces the marked state switches in protrusion morphodynamics found experimentally between epithelial cells in control conditions and cells expressing constitutively active Rac, a signaling molecule involved in the regulation of lamellipodium network assembly. The model also suggests a mechanistic explanation of experimental distortions in protrusion morphodynamics induced by deregulation of Arp2/3 and cofilin activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1571-1581
Number of pages11
JournalBiophysical journal
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 21 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics


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