Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e29645. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029645. Epub 2012 Jan 12.

Spatial modeling of vesicle transport and the cytoskeleton: the challenge of hitting the right road.

Author information

Automatic Control Laboratory, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.


The membrane trafficking machinery provides a transport and sorting system for many cellular proteins. We propose a mechanistic agent-based computer simulation to integrate and test the hypothesis of vesicle transport embedded into a detailed model cell. The method tracks both the number and location of the vesicles. Thus both the stochastic properties due to the low numbers and the spatial aspects are preserved. The underlying molecular interactions that control the vesicle actions are included in a multi-scale manner based on the model of Heinrich and Rapoport (2005). By adding motor proteins we can improve the recycling process of SNAREs and model cell polarization. Our model also predicts that coat molecules should have a high turnover at the compartment membranes, while the turnover of motor proteins has to be slow. The modular structure of the underlying model keeps it tractable despite the overall complexity of the vesicle system. We apply our model to receptor-mediated endocytosis and show how a polarized cytoskeleton structure leads to polarized distributions in the plasma membrane both of SNAREs and the Ste2p receptor in yeast. In addition, we can couple signal transduction and membrane trafficking steps in one simulation, which enables analyzing the effect of receptor-mediated endocytosis on signaling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center