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Journal Articles Journal of Mathematical Biology Year : 2021

The role of mode switching in a population of actin polymers with constraints


In this paper, we introduce a stochastic model for the dynamics of actin polymers and their interactions with other proteins in the cellular envelop. Each polymer elongates and shortens, and can switch between several modes depending on whether it is bound to accessory proteins that modulate its behaviour as, for example, elongation-promoting factors. Our main aim is to understand the dynamics of a large population of polymers, assuming that the only limiting quantity is the total amount of monomers, set to be constant to some large N. We first focus on the evolution of a very long polymer, of size O(N), with a rapid switch between modes (compared to the timescale over which the macroscopic fluctuations in the polymer size appear). Letting N tend to infnity, we obtain a fluid limit in which the effect of the switching appears only through the fraction of time spent in each mode at equilibrium. We show in particular that, in our situation where the number of monomers is limiting, a rapid binding-unbinding dynamics may lead to an increased elongation rate compared to the case where the polymer is trapped in any of the modes. Next, we consider a large population of polymers and complexes, represented by a random measure on some appropriate type space. We show that as N tends to infinity, the stochastic system converges to a deterministic limit in which the switching appears as a flow between two categories of polymers. We exhibit some numerical examples in which the limiting behaviour of a single polymer differs from that of a population of competing (shorter) polymers for equivalent model parameters. Taken together, our results demonstrate that under conditions where the total number of monomers is limiting, the study of a single polymer is not sufficient to understand the behaviour of an ensemble of competing polymers.
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Dates and versions

hal-02301970 , version 1 (30-09-2019)
hal-02301970 , version 2 (16-02-2021)



François Robin, Anne van Gorp, Amandine Véber. The role of mode switching in a population of actin polymers with constraints. Journal of Mathematical Biology, 2021, 82, ⟨10.1007/s00285-021-01551-z⟩. ⟨hal-02301970v2⟩
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