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Journal Article

Morphogen transport in epithelia


Pantazis,  P.
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Max Planck Society;


González-Gaitán,  M.
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Max Planck Society;

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Bollenbach, T., Kruse, K., Pantazis, P., González-Gaitán, M., & Juelicher, F. (2007). Morphogen transport in epithelia. Physical Review E, 75(1): 011901.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0001-0F64-F
We present a general theoretical framework to discuss mechanisms of morphogen transport and gradient
formation in a cell layer. Trafficking events on the cellular scale lead to transport on larger scales. We discuss
in particular the case of transcytosis where morphogens undergo repeated rounds of internalization into cells
and recycling. Based on a description on the cellular scale, we derive effective nonlinear transport equations in
one and two dimensions which are valid on larger scales. We derive analytic expressions for the concentration
dependence of the effective diffusion coefficient and the effective degradation rate. We discuss the effects of a
directional bias on morphogen transport and those of the coupling of the morphogen and receptor kinetics.
Furthermore, we discuss general properties of cellular transport processes such as the robustness of gradients
and relate our results to recent experiments on the morphogen Decapentaplegic Dpp that acts in the wing disk
of the fruit fly Drosophila.