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Self-organisation of Cell Asymmetry : Turing’s inspiration is alive in a single cell

Thursday 15th March 2012 - 15:50 to 16:10
The development of multicellular organisms starts from a single fertilized egg but it finally involves the specification of diverse cell types. Such diversity is created via an asymmetric cell division, which is crucial to determine a distinct fate of the daughter cells and the most fundamental body plan for constructing a complex body system. The experimental investigation of the molecular levels proposes that differentially segregated protein or RNA determinants in the inside of a cell play a key role in the asymmetric cell divisions processes. The localization of specific proteins during an asymmetric cell division process is commonly observed in many model organisms, though related specific proteins or each step is observed in a slightly different way. Nonetheless, the schematic mechanism of the cell asymmetry division is still remained elusive. Moreover, the mechanism by which related proteins or RNA determinants can be localised to a specific region in a micro scale of small single cell is fully remained as a mystery. Thus to understand the mechanism by integrating the individual information of the molecular level is highly required. In this presentation, we present a mathematical model describing the asymmetric division process of C. elegans embryo cell. In particular, we explore the cortical flow effect on the localisation of membrane posterior PAR proteins and discuss the robustness of patterning length and timing arising in the establishment phase of the cell division. Finally, we show that how Turing’s spirit is alive in a single cell.
University of Cambridge Research Councils UK
    Clay Mathematics Institute London Mathematical Society NM Rothschild and Sons