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Journal Article

Bistability in the actin cortex


Beta,  Carsten
Laboratory for Fluid Dynamics, Pattern Formation and Biocomplexity, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Beta, C. (2010). Bistability in the actin cortex. PMC Biophysics, 3, 12.1-12.9. doi:10.1186/1757-5036-3-12.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-123F-F
Multi-color fluorescence imaging experiments of wave forming Dictyostelium cells have revealed that actin waves separate two domains of the cell cortex that differ in their actin structure and phosphoinositide composition. We propose a bistable model of actin dynamics to account for these experimental observation. The model is based on the simplifying assumption that the actin cytoskeleton is composed of two distinct network types, a dendritic and a bundled network. The two structurally different states that were observed in experiments correspond to the stable fixed points in the bistable regime of this model. Each fixed point is dominated by one of the two network types. The experimentally observed actin waves can be considered as trigger waves that propagate transitions between the two stable fixed points.