Two- and Three-dimensional models of eukaryotic cell migration
Cell migration is a central process in development of embryos, immune responses, cancer metastasis, and so on. A migrating cell is sometimes called "amoeba" or "amoeba-like" cell because its shape is similar to protozoan amoeba such as amoeba proteus, which has random projections called pseudopodia from the central body. In order to elucidate the mechanism of amoeba-like migration, a computational two-dimensional model is developed which assumes a group of inhibitory molecules, called cortical factor (CF), for actin polymerization. Based on this model, it is hypothesized that CF are sent backward in the moving cell to accumulate at the rear of cell. The accumulated CF at the rear further promote cell migration to form a positive feedback loop, allowing the cell to take complex amoeboid shapes. The model produces not only amoeba-like but also keratocyte-like migrating pattern, the latter of which takes crescent shape and shows persistent locomotion. A three-dimensional model is also developed in which a cell is assumed to move on a plain substratum, elucidating that adhesion is a important parameter to control migrating patterns such as amoeba- and keratocyte-like migration.
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