Robustness of the microtubule network self-organization in epithelia
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.
At the time of the publication, all the biological data is available on https://datashare.is.ed.ac.uk/handle/10283/3439 (DOI:10.7488/ds/2642) as stated in the supplementary material in the article.
Article and author information
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (The Maxwell Institute Graduate School in Analysis and its Applica- tions,a Centre for Doctoral Trai)
- Aleksandra Z Plochocka
Royal Society of Edinburgh (personal fellowship)
- Lyubov Chumakova
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/P007503/1)
- Natalia A Bulgakova
Leverhulme Trust (RPG-2017-249)
- Natalia A Bulgakova
- Lyubov Chumakova
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
- Received: June 1, 2020
- Accepted: January 26, 2021
- Accepted Manuscript published: February 1, 2021 (version 1)
- Version of Record published: March 1, 2021 (version 2)
© 2021, Plochocka 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.
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