Stratification relieves constraints from steric hindrance in the generation of compact acto-myosin asters at the membrane cortex

Amit Das, Abrar Bhat, Rastko Sknepnek, Darius Koster, Satyajit Mayor (Lead / Corresponding author), Madan Rao (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Recent in vivo studies reveal that several membrane proteins are driven to form nanoclusters by active contractile flows arising from localized dynamic patterning of F-actin and myosin at the cortex. Since myosin-II assemble as minifilaments with tens of myosin heads, one might worry that steric considerations would obstruct the emergence of nanoclustering. Using coarse-grained, agent-based simulations that account for steric constraints, we find that the patterns exhibited by actomyosin in two dimensions, do not resemble the steady-state patterns in our in vitro reconstitution of actomyosin on a supported bilayer. We perform simulations in a thin rectangular slab, separating the layer of actin filaments from myosin-II minifilaments. This recapitulates the observed features of in vitro patterning. Using super resolution microscopy, we find evidence for such stratification in our in vitro system. Our study suggests that molecular stratification may be an important organizing feature of the cortical cytoskeleton in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaay6093
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalScience Advances
Issue number11
Early online date11 Mar 2020
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2020


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