Receptor clustering affects signal transduction at the membrane level in the reaction-limited regime.

Bertrand R Caré 1, 2, * Hédi A Soula 2, 3
* Corresponding author
2 BEAGLE - Artificial Evolution and Computational Biology
LBBE - Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie Evolutive - UMR 5558, Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes, LIRIS - Laboratoire d'InfoRmatique en Image et Systèmes d'information
Abstract : Many types of membrane receptors are found to be organized as clusters on the cell surface. We investigate the potential effect of such receptor clustering on the intracellular signal transduction stage. We consider a canonical pathway with a membrane receptor (R) activating a membrane-bound intracellular relay protein (G). We use Monte Carlo simulations to recreate biochemical reactions using different receptor spatial distributions and explore the dynamics of the signal transduction. Results show that activation of G by R is severely impaired by R clustering, leading to an apparent blunted biological effect compared to control. Paradoxically, this clustering decreases the half maximal effective dose (ED50) of the transduction stage, increasing the apparent affinity. We study an example of inter-receptor interaction in order to account for possible compensatory effects of clustering and observe the parameter range in which such interactions slightly counterbalance the loss of activation of G. The membrane receptors' spatial distribution affects the internal stages of signal amplification, suggesting a functional role for membrane domains and receptor clustering independently of proximity-induced receptor-receptor interactions.
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Bertrand R Caré, Hédi A Soula. Receptor clustering affects signal transduction at the membrane level in the reaction-limited regime.. Physical Review E : Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, American Physical Society, 2013, 87 (1), pp.012720. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevE.87.012720⟩. ⟨hal-00858439⟩

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