Endocytosis Optimizes the Dynamic Localization of Membrane Proteins that Regulate Cortical Polarity

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Diverse cell types require the ability to maintain dynamically polarized membrane-protein distributions through balancing transport and diffusion. However, design principles underlying dynamically maintained cortical polarity are not well understood. Here we constructed a mathematical model for characterizing the morphology of dynamically polarized protein distributions. We developed analytical approaches for measuring all model parameters from single-cell experiments. We applied our methods to a well-characterized system for studying polarized membrane proteins: budding yeast cells expressing activated Cdc42. We found that a balance of diffusion, directed transport, and endocytosis was sufficient for accurately describing polarization morphologies. Surprisingly, the model predicts that polarized regions are defined with a precision that is nearly optimal for measured endocytosis rates and that polarity can be dynamically stabilized through positive feedback with directed transport. Our approach provides a step toward understanding how biological systems shape spatially precise, unambiguous cortical polarity domains using dynamic processes. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.




Marco, E., Wedlich-Soldner, R., Li, R., Altschuler, S. J., & Wu, L. F. (2007). Endocytosis Optimizes the Dynamic Localization of Membrane Proteins that Regulate Cortical Polarity. Cell, 129(2), 411–422. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2007.02.043

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