Eukaryotic cells modulate their metabolism by organizing metabolic components in response to varying nutrient availability and energy demands. In rat axons, mitochondria respond to glucose levels by halting active transport in high glucose regions. We employ quantitative modeling to explore physical limits on spatial organization of mitochondria and localized metabolic enhancement through regulated stopping of processive motion. We delineate the role of key parameters, including cellular glucose uptake and consumption rates, that are expected to modulate mitochondrial distribution and metabolic response in spatially varying glucose conditions. Our estimates indicate that physiological brain glucose levels fall within the limited range necessary for metabolic enhancement. Hence mitochondrial localization is shown to be a plausible regulatory mechanism for neuronal metabolic flexibility in the presence of spatially heterogeneous glucose, as may occur in long processes of projection neurons. These findings provide a framework for the control of cellular bioenergetics through organelle trafficking.
Matlab code for implementing the models described in this study has been made available on Github: https://github.com/lenafabr/mitoManuscriptCodes.Source data files for Figures 3, 4, 5, 6 and the appendix figure are provided in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Gulcin Pekkurnaz
- Anamika Agrawal
- Elena F Koslover
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Raymond E Goldstein, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
© 2018, Agrawal et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The adaptive dynamics of evolving microbial populations takes place on a complex fitness landscape generated by epistatic interactions. The population generically consists of multiple competing strains, a phenomenon known as clonal interference. Microscopic epistasis and clonal interference are central aspects of evolution in microbes, but their combined effects on the functional form of the population’s mean fitness are poorly understood. Here, we develop a computational method that resolves the full microscopic complexity of a simulated evolving population subject to a standard serial dilution protocol. Through extensive numerical experimentation, we find that stronger microscopic epistasis gives rise to fitness trajectories with slower growth independent of the number of competing strains, which we quantify with power-law fits and understand mechanistically via a random walk model that neglects dynamical correlations between genes. We show that increasing the level of clonal interference leads to fitness trajectories with faster growth (in functional form) without microscopic epistasis, but leaves the rate of growth invariant when epistasis is sufficiently strong, indicating that the role of clonal interference depends intimately on the underlying fitness landscape. The simulation package for this work may be found at https://github.com/nmboffi/spin_glass_evodyn.
The nuclear pore complex (NPC) regulates the selective transport of large biomolecules through the nuclear envelope. As a model system for nuclear transport, we construct NPC mimics by functionalizing the pore walls of freestanding palladium zero-mode waveguides with the FG-nucleoporin Nsp1. This approach enables the measurement of single-molecule translocations through individual pores using optical detection. We probe the selectivity of Nsp1-coated pores by quantitatively comparing the translocation rates of the nuclear transport receptor Kap95 to the inert probe BSA over a wide range of pore sizes from 35 nm to 160 nm. Pores below 55 ± 5 nm show significant selectivity that gradually decreases for larger pores. This finding is corroborated by coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations of the Nsp1 mesh within the pore, which suggest that leakage of BSA occurs by diffusion through transient openings within the dynamic mesh. Furthermore, we experimentally observe a modulation of the BSA permeation when varying the concentration of Kap95. The results demonstrate the potential of single-molecule fluorescence measurements on biomimetic NPCs to elucidate the principles of nuclear transport.