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"Location-Location-Location" : the importance of space for intracellular cell biochemistry

Location-Location-Location :  the importance of space for intracellular cell biochemistry

Hughes BERRY
INRIA, BEAGLE Research Group

Because the molecules in cells interact only when they meet, the way by which they actually move may have deep impact on the inner life of the cell. More often than not, we neglect this issue by considering that cell biochemical and signaling pathways are static objects with no real spatial extent. Experimental as well as most modeling approaches thus rely on mean-field equations (“mass-action laws”) which assume that intracellular spaces are diluted, perfectly stirred and spatially homogeneous. However, single-cell (and sometimes single tracker) experiments consistently report that diffusion in most intracellular compartments (membranes, cytoplasm, nucleus) is anomalous (i.e. not Brownian) because of macromolecular crowding and spatially inhomogeneous (i.e. motion properties depend on the location). In this talk, I will present investigations of the effects of spatial properties on some elementary biochemical/signaling modules including ligand-receptor binding, enzyme kinetics, elementary transcription networks and protein aggregation.

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