Signal transmission through elements of the cytoskeleton form an optimized information network in eukaryotic cells
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Coll Opt Sci
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherNATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
CitationFrieden, B. R., & Gatenby, R. A. (2019). Signal transmission through elements of the cytoskeleton form an optimized information network in eukaryotic cells. Scientific reports, 9(1), 6110.
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AbstractMultiple prior empirical and theoretical studies have demonstrated wire-like flow of electrons and ions along elements of the cytoskeleton but this has never been linked to a biological function. Here we propose that eukaryotes use this mode of signal transmission to convey spatial and temporal environmental information from the cell membrane to the nucleus. The cell membrane, as the interface between intra-and extra-cellular environments, is the site at which much external information is received. Prior studies have demonstrated that transmembrane ion gradients permit information acquisition when an environmental signal interacts with specialized protein gates in membrane ion channels and producing specific ions to flow into or out of the cell along concentration gradients. The resulting localized change in cytoplasmic ion concentrations and charge density can alter location and enzymatic function of peripheral membrane proteins. This allows the cell to process the information and rapidly deploy a local response. Here we investigate transmission of information received and processed in and around the cell membrane by elements of the cytoskeleton to the nucleus to alter gene expression. We demonstrate signal transmission by ion flow along the cytoskeleton is highly optimized. In particular, microtubules, with diameters of about 30 nm, carry coarse-grained Shannon information to the centrosome adjacent to the nucleus with minimum loss of input source information. And, microfilaments, with diameters of about 4 nm, transmit maximum Fisher (fine-grained) information to protein complexes in the nuclear membrane. These previously unrecognized information dynamics allow continuous integration of spatial and temporal environmental signals with inherited information in the genome.
NoteOpen access journal
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNational Cancer Institute Physical Science Oncology Center [U54 CA143970]; NCI CCSG Support Grant [P30 CA076292]
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