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Symmetry Breaking and Emergence of Directional Flows in Minimal Actomyosin Cortices

MPS-Authors
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Vogel,  Sven K.
Schwille, Petra / Cellular and Molecular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Ramirez-Diaz,  Diego A.
Schwille, Petra / Cellular and Molecular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Schwille,  Petra
Schwille, Petra / Cellular and Molecular Biophysics, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Fulltext (public)

cells-09-01432.pdf
(Publisher version), 2MB

Supplementary Material (public)

cells-09-01432-s001.rar
(Supplementary material), 22MB

Citation

Vogel, S. K., Wölfer, C., Ramirez-Diaz, D. A., Flassig, R., Sundmacher, K., & Schwille, P. (2020). Symmetry Breaking and Emergence of Directional Flows in Minimal Actomyosin Cortices. Cells, 9(6): 1432. doi:10.3390/cells9061432.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-8269-0
Abstract
Cortical actomyosin flows, among other mechanisms, scale up spontaneous symmetry breaking and thus play pivotal roles in cell differentiation, division, and motility. According to many model systems, myosin motor-induced local contractions of initially isotropic actomyosin cortices are nucleation points for generating cortical flows. However, the positive feedback mechanisms by which spontaneous contractions can be amplified towards large-scale directed flows remain mostly speculative. To investigate such a process on spherical surfaces, we reconstituted and confined initially isotropic minimal actomyosin cortices to the interfaces of emulsion droplets. The presence of ATP leads to myosin-induced local contractions that self-organize and amplify into directed large-scale actomyosin flows. By combining our experiments with theory, we found that the feedback mechanism leading to a coordinated directional motion of actomyosin clusters can be described as asymmetric cluster vibrations, caused by intrinsic non-isotropic ATP consumption with spatial confinement. We identified fingerprints of vibrational states as the basis of directed motions by tracking individual actomyosin clusters. These vibrations may represent a generic key driver of directed actomyosin flows under spatial confinement in vitro and in living systems.