Linking actin networks and cell membrane via a reaction-diffusion-elastic description of nonlinear filopodia initiation Academic Article uri icon


  • Reaction-diffusion models have been used to describe pattern formation on the cellular scale, and traditionally do not include feedback between cellular shape changes and biochemical reactions. We introduce here a distinct reaction-diffusion-elasticity approach: The reaction-diffusion part describes bistability between two actin orientations, coupled to the elastic energy of the cell membrane deformations. This coupling supports spatially localized patterns, even when such solutions do not exist in the uncoupled self-inhibited reaction-diffusion system. We apply this concept to describe the nonlinear (threshold driven) initiation mechanism of actin-based cellular protrusions and provide support by several experimental observations.

publication date

  • January 1, 2013