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Research Papers

Probing the Effect of Random Adhesion Energy on Receptor-Mediated Endocytosis With a Semistochastic Model

[+] Author and Article Information
Bin Chen

Department of Engineering Mechanics,
Zhejiang University,
Hangzhou 310027, China
e-mail: chenb6@zju.edu.cn

Contributed by the Applied Mechanics Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF APPLIED MECHANICS. Manuscript received April 17, 2014; final manuscript received May 21, 2014; accepted manuscript posted May 26, 2014; published online June 10, 2014. Editor: Yonggang Huang.

J. Appl. Mech 81(8), 081013 (Jun 10, 2014) (5 pages) Paper No: JAM-14-1170; doi: 10.1115/1.4027739 History: Received April 17, 2014; Revised May 21, 2014; Accepted May 26, 2014

The cellular uptake of a particle through receptor-mediated endocytosis involves specific binding between ligands on the particle surface and diffusive receptors on the cell membrane. Since the rupture force of these specific bonds is generally random, the same can be the associated adhesion energy. To probe the effect of this randomness, we present a semistochastic model of receptor-mediated endocytosis, in which the adhesion energy between particle and membrane is regarded as a stochastic parameter obeying Boltzmann's distribution. It is shown that the so-called speed factor varies and that the rate of uptake is much lower than that from a previous deterministic model. It is also found that a spontaneous curvature can significantly increase the rate of uptake for particles of certain sizes. When constraining the random adhesion energy, we find that the rate of uptake can substantially increase. This work suggests that adhesion energy may be actively regulated during receptor-mediated endocytosis to improve the efficiency. By adopting random adhesion energy in the analysis, the physical picture of endocytosis implicated by the current work can be fundamentally different from that by a previous deterministic model.

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Receptors within an initially flat membrane diffuse to the contact region as the membrane wraps around a ligand-coated spherical particle and the density distribution of receptors then becomes nonuniform (adapted from Gao et al. [28]). Different from Gao et al. [28], adhesion energy due to receptor-ligand binding, eRL, is a probability function in the current work.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Density distribution of free receptors ahead of the wrapping front at ξ0/ξL = 0.05

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

(a) Variation of eRL against α; (b) variation of eRL against particle radius at α = 0.04

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Variation of qW against particle radius: solid lines represent the current analysis based on the semistochastic model, while dashed lines correspond to results from a deterministic model [28]

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Effects of a spontaneous curvature on qW: (a) variation of eRL against α when R = 50 nm; (b) variation of qW against particle radius. In the calculation, ξ0/ξL = 0.05

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Effects of constraining adhesion energy between ligands and receptors on qW at ξ0/ξL = 0.05

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