47 research outputs found

### Quantifying Hopping and Jumping in Facilitated Diffusion of DNA-Binding Proteins

International audienc

### Dynamical and spatial disorder in an intermittent search process

We consider a one-dimensional model of an intermittent search process in a medium exhibiting frozen disorder. A tracer, searching for Poisson-distributed targets, alternates diffusive and ballistic motions, but can only find a target when diffusing. Preliminary theoretical results [1] are now confirmed, completed and extended, and their derivations are presented for the first time. We study the mean search time T according to the laws of the searcher waiting times in the diffusive and ballistic regimes. In particular, we obtain a lower bound of T , which in certain circumstances is also an approximation and is valid for a very broad class of waiting time distributions. Explicit results and other approximations are presented in the case of exponential waiting times, and we study the optimization of T , depending on the mean durations of the diffusive and ballistic phases. Theoretical formulae are supported by numerical simulations. We show that the intermittent behaviour can allow one to minimize the search time in comparison with the purely diffusive behaviour, and that it is possible, by an adequate choice of the parameters, to increase very significantly the efficiency of the search

### Mean first-passage time of surface-mediated diffusion in spherical domains

We present an exact calculation of the mean first-passage time to a target on
the surface of a 2D or 3D spherical domain, for a molecule alternating phases
of surface diffusion on the domain boundary and phases of bulk diffusion. The
presented approach is based on an integral equation which can be solved
analytically. Numerically validated approximation schemes, which provide more
tractable expressions of the mean first-passage time are also proposed. In the
framework of this minimal model of surface-mediated reactions, we show
analytically that the mean reaction time can be minimized as a function of the
desorption rate from the surface.Comment: to appear in J. Stat. Phy

### Intermittent search strategies

This review examines intermittent target search strategies, which combine
phases of slow motion, allowing the searcher to detect the target, and phases
of fast motion during which targets cannot be detected. We first show that
intermittent search strategies are actually widely observed at various scales.
At the macroscopic scale, this is for example the case of animals looking for
food ; at the microscopic scale, intermittent transport patterns are involved
in reaction pathway of DNA binding proteins as well as in intracellular
transport. Second, we introduce generic stochastic models, which show that
intermittent strategies are efficient strategies, which enable to minimize the
search time. This suggests that the intrinsic efficiency of intermittent search
strategies could justify their frequent observation in nature. Last, beyond
these modeling aspects, we propose that intermittent strategies could be used
also in a broader context to design and accelerate search processes.Comment: 72 pages, review articl

### Enhanced reaction kinetics in biological cells

The cell cytoskeleton is a striking example of "active" medium driven
out-of-equilibrium by ATP hydrolysis. Such activity has been shown recently to
have a spectacular impact on the mechanical and rheological properties of the
cellular medium, as well as on its transport properties : a generic tracer
particle freely diffuses as in a standard equilibrium medium, but also
intermittently binds with random interaction times to motor proteins, which
perform active ballistic excursions along cytoskeletal filaments. Here, we
propose for the first time an analytical model of transport limited reactions
in active media, and show quantitatively how active transport can enhance
reactivity for large enough tracers like vesicles. We derive analytically the
average interaction time with motor proteins which optimizes the reaction rate,
and reveal remarkable universal features of the optimal configuration. We
discuss why active transport may be beneficial in various biological examples:
cell cytoskeleton, membranes and lamellipodia, and tubular structures like
axons.Comment: 10 pages, 2 figure

### Geometry-controlled kinetics

It has long been appreciated that transport properties can control reaction
kinetics. This effect can be characterized by the time it takes a diffusing
molecule to reach a target -- the first-passage time (FPT). Although essential
to quantify the kinetics of reactions on all time scales, determining the FPT
distribution was deemed so far intractable. Here, we calculate analytically
this FPT distribution and show that transport processes as various as regular
diffusion, anomalous diffusion, diffusion in disordered media and in fractals
fall into the same universality classes. Beyond this theoretical aspect, this
result changes the views on standard reaction kinetics. More precisely, we
argue that geometry can become a key parameter so far ignored in this context,
and introduce the concept of "geometry-controlled kinetics". These findings
could help understand the crucial role of spatial organization of genes in
transcription kinetics, and more generally the impact of geometry on
diffusion-limited reactions.Comment: Submitted versio

### Kinetics of active surface-mediated diffusion in spherically symmetric domains

We present an exact calculation of the mean first-passage time to a target on
the surface of a 2D or 3D spherical domain, for a molecule alternating phases
of surface diffusion on the domain boundary and phases of bulk diffusion. We
generalize the results of [J. Stat. Phys. {\bf 142}, 657 (2011)] and consider a
biased diffusion in a general annulus with an arbitrary number of regularly
spaced targets on a partially reflecting surface. The presented approach is
based on an integral equation which can be solved analytically. Numerically
validated approximation schemes, which provide more tractable expressions of
the mean first-passage time are also proposed. In the framework of this minimal
model of surface-mediated reactions, we show analytically that the mean
reaction time can be minimized as a function of the desorption rate from the
surface.Comment: Published online in J. Stat. Phy

### FRET studies of a landscape of Lac repressor-mediated DNA loops

DNA looping mediated by the Lac repressor is an archetypal test case for modeling protein and DNA flexibility. Understanding looping is fundamental to quantitative descriptions of gene expression. Systematic analysis of LacIâąDNA looping was carried out using a landscape of DNA constructs with lac operators bracketing an A-tract bend, produced by varying helical phasings between operators and the bend. Fluorophores positioned on either side of both operators allowed direct FĂ¶rster resonance energy transfer (FRET) detection of parallel (P1) and antiparallel (A1, A2) DNA looping topologies anchored by V-shaped LacI. Combining fluorophore position variant landscapes allows calculation of the P1, A1 and A2 populations from FRET efficiencies and also reveals extended low-FRET loops proposed to form via LacI opening. The addition of isopropyl-ÎČ-d-thio-galactoside (IPTG) destabilizes but does not eliminate the loops, and IPTG does not redistribute loops among high-FRET topologies. In some cases, subsequent addition of excess LacI does not reduce FRET further, suggesting that IPTG stabilizes extended or other low-FRET loops. The data align well with rod mechanics models for the energetics of DNA looping topologies. At the peaks of the predicted energy landscape for V-shaped loops, the proposed extended loops are more stable and are observed instead, showing that future models must consider protein flexibility