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Cell-to-cell communication: Time and length scales of ligand internalization in cultures of suspended cells

By Alexander M. Berezhkovskii, Mathieu Coppey, Stuart C. Sealfon and Stanislav Shvartsman


A problem of cell-to-cell communication by diffusible ligands is analyzed for the case when cells are distributed in three dimensions and diffusible ligands are secreted by cells and reversibly bind to cell surface receptors. Following its binding to a receptor, the ligand can either dissociate and be released back in the medium or be absorbed by the cell in a process that is called internalization. Using an effective medium approximation, we derive analytical expressions that characterize the time and length scales associated with the ligand trajectories leading to internalization. We discuss the applicability of our approximation and illustrate the application of our results to a specific cellular system

Topics: Biological Molecules, Biopolymers, and Biological Systems
Publisher: American Institute of Physics
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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