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Stress-induced alignment of actin filaments and the mechanics of cytogel.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Bulletin of mathematical biology
Publication Date
Volume
55
Issue
3
Pages
637–654
Identifiers
PMID: 8364421
Source
Medline

Abstract

Experimental evidence suggests that anisotropic stress induces alignment of intracellular actin filaments. We develop a model for this phenomenon, which includes a parameter reflecting the sensitivity of the microfilament network to changes in the stress field. When applied to a uniform cell sheet at rest, the model predicts that for sufficiently large values of the sensitivity parameter, all the actin filaments will spontaneously align in a single direction. Stress alignment can also be caused by a change in external conditions, and as an example of this we apply our model to the initial response of embryonic epidermis to wounding. Our solutions in this case are able to reflect the actin cable that has been found at the wound edge in recent experiments; the cable consists of microfilaments aligned with stress at the wound boundary of the epithelium. These applications suggest that stress-induced alignment of actin filaments could play a key role in some biological systems. This is the first attempt to include the alignment phenomenon in a mechanical model of cytogel.

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