Robustness of the microtubule network self-organization in epithelia

Aleksandra Z Plochocka, Miguel Ramírez Moreno, Alexander M Davie, Natalia A. Bulgakova, Lyuba Chumakova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Robustness of biological systems is crucial for their survival, however, for many systems its origin is an open question. Here we analyze one sub-cellular level system, the microtubule cytoskeleton. Microtubules self-organize into a network, along which cellular components are delivered to their biologically relevant locations. While the dynamics of individual microtubules is sensitive to the organism's environment and genetics, a similar sensitivity of the overall network would result in pathologies. Our large-scale stochastic simulations show that the self-organization of microtubule networks is robust in a wide parameter range in individual cells. We confirm this robustness in vivo on the tissue-scale using genetic manipulations of Drosophila epithelial cells. Finally, our minimal mathematical model shows that the origin of robustness is the separation of time-scales in microtubule dynamics rates. Altogether, we demonstrate that the tissue-scale self-organization of a microtubule network depends only on cell geometry and the distribution of the microtubule minus-ends.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages25
Early online date1 Feb 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Feb 2021


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