Chemotaxis is the directed movement of cells in a chemical gradient. It plays a major role in a large number of important biological processes, including embryology;wound healing, and cancer metastasis. The main aim of this Program Project is to extend our quantitative studies of chemotaxis using the model system Dictyostelium discoideum. Specifically, we will investigate the chemotactic process by dividing it into three projects with distinct timescales: 1) Directional sensing: the first response (0-10 s) of a cell following the exposure to an external Chemoattractant gradient, 2) Polarity: the subsequent (10-45 s) reorganization of the cytoskeleton, leading to an asymmetric (polarized) cell, and 3) Motility: the eventual (>45 s) process of cell movement. For all projects, we will use a combination of quantitative experiments, aided by the use of microfluidic devices, and modeling approaches to further our insights into the mechanisms of eukaryotic chemotaxis.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Research Program Projects (P01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-CB-G (40))
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Nie, Zhongzhen
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University of California San Diego
Schools of Arts and Sciences
La Jolla
United States
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Levine, Herbert (2014) Learning physics of living systems from Dictyostelium. Phys Biol 11:053011
Loomis, William F (2014) Cell signaling during development of Dictyostelium. Dev Biol 391:1-16
Skoge, Monica; Yue, Haicen; Erickstad, Michael et al. (2014) Cellular memory in eukaryotic chemotaxis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111:14448-53
Knoch, Fabian; Tarantola, Marco; Bodenschatz, Eberhard et al. (2014) Modeling self-organized spatio-temporal patterns of PIP? and PTEN during spontaneous cell polarization. Phys Biol 11:046002
Camley, Brian A; Rappel, Wouter-Jan (2014) Velocity alignment leads to high persistence in confined cells. Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys 89:062705
Tarantola, Marco; Bae, Albert; Fuller, Danny et al. (2014) Cell substratum adhesion during early development of Dictyostelium discoideum. PLoS One 9:e106574
Camley, Brian A; Zhang, Yunsong; Zhao, Yanxiang et al. (2014) Polarity mechanisms such as contact inhibition of locomotion regulate persistent rotational motion of mammalian cells on micropatterns. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 111:14770-5
Hu, Bo; Rappel, Wouter-Jan; Levine, Herbert (2014) How input noise limits biochemical sensing in ultrasensitive systems. Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys 90:032702
Camley, Brian A; Zhao, Yanxiang; Li, Bo et al. (2013) Periodic migration in a physical model of cells on micropatterns. Phys Rev Lett 111:158102
Segota, Igor; Mong, Surin; Neidich, Eitan et al. (2013) High fidelity information processing in folic acid chemotaxis of Dictyostelium amoebae. J R Soc Interface 10:20130606

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