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Theoretical model for persistent and oscillatory cell motility

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Coupling Geometric PDEs with Physics for Cell Morphology, Motility and Pattern Formation

Cell movement has essential functions in development, immunity and cancer. Various cell migration patterns have been reported, such as Brownian motion, intermittent and persistent random-walks, but no general rule has emerged so far. Here, we show on the basis of experimental data in vitro and in vivo that cell persistence, which quantifies the straightness of trajectories, is robustly coupled to cell migration speed. We suggest that this universal coupling constitutes a generic law of cell migration, which originates in the advection of polarity cues by an actin cytoskeleton undergoing flows at the cellular scale. Our analysis relies on a theoretical model that we validate by measuring the persistence of cells upon modulation of actin flow speeds. Beyond the quantitative prediction of the coupling, the model yields a generic phase diagram of cellular trajectories, which recapitulates the full range of observed migration patterns. Recent extensions of this model describe the oscillatory motion of dendritic cells, which compare very well with experiments.

Actin Flows Mediate a Universal Coupling between Cell Speed and Cell Persistence Maiuri P, Rupprecht JF, Wieser S, Ruprecht V, Benichou O, Carpi N, Coppey M, De Beco S, Gov N, Heisenberg CP, Crespo CL, Lautenschlaeger F, Le Berre M, Lennon-Dumenil AM, Raab M, Thiam HR, Piel M, Sixt M, Voituriez R, Cell 161 , 374-386 (2015)

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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