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Stuttering Min oscillations within E. coli bacteria: a stochastic polymerization model

Stuttering Min oscillations within E. coli bacteria: a stochastic polymerization model

Physical Biology 9(5): 056003

We have developed a 3D off-lattice stochastic polymerization model to study the subcellular oscillation of Min proteins in the bacteria Escherichia coli, and used it to investigate the experimental phenomenon of Min oscillation stuttering. Stuttering was affected by the rate of immediate rebinding of MinE released from depolymerizing filament tips (processivity), protection of depolymerizing filament tips from MinD binding and fragmentation of MinD filaments due to MinE. Processivity, protection and fragmentation each reduce stuttering, speed oscillations and MinD filament lengths. Neither processivity nor tip protection were, on their own, sufficient to produce fast stutter-free oscillations. While filament fragmentation could, on its own, lead to fast oscillations with infrequent stuttering; high levels of fragmentation degraded oscillations. The infrequent stuttering observed in standard Min oscillations is consistent with short filaments of MinD, while we expect that mutants that exhibit higher stuttering frequencies will exhibit longer MinD filaments. Increased stuttering rate may be a useful diagnostic to find observable MinD polymerization under experimental conditions.

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Accession: 055982652

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 22931851

DOI: 10.1088/1478-3975/9/5/056003

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