Key enzymatic processes use the nonequilibrium error correction mechanism called kinetic proofreading to enhance their specificity. The applicability of traditional proofreading schemes, however, is limited since they typically require dedicated structural features in the enzyme, such as a nucleotide hydrolysis site or multiple intermediate conformations. Here, we explore an alternative conceptual mechanism that achieves error correction by having substrate binding and subsequent product formation occur at distinct physical locations. The time taken by the enzyme-substrate complex to diffuse from one location to another is leveraged to discard wrong substrates. This mechanism does not have the typical structural requirements, making it easier to overlook in experiments. We discuss how the length scales of molecular gradients dictate proofreading performance, and quantify the limitations imposed by realistic diffusion and reaction rates. Our work broadens the applicability of kinetic proofreading and sets the stage for studying spatial gradients as a possible route to specificity.
All scripts used to generate the data for making the plots are provided in supporting files.
- Kabir Husain
- Arvind Murugan
- Rob Phillips
- Rob Phillips
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Ahmet Yildiz, University of California, Berkeley, United States
© 2020, Galstyan 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.
Motile cilia are hair-like cell extensions that beat periodically to generate fluid flow along various epithelial tissues within the body. In dense multiciliated carpets, cilia were shown to exhibit a remarkable coordination of their beat in the form of traveling metachronal waves, a phenomenon which supposedly enhances fluid transport. Yet, how cilia coordinate their regular beat in multiciliated epithelia to move fluids remains insufficiently understood, particularly due to lack of rigorous quantification. We combine experiments, novel analysis tools, and theory to address this knowledge gap. To investigate collective dynamics of cilia, we studied zebrafish multiciliated epithelia in the nose and the brain. We focused mainly on the zebrafish nose, due to its conserved properties with other ciliated tissues and its superior accessibility for non-invasive imaging. We revealed that cilia are synchronized only locally and that the size of local synchronization domains increases with the viscosity of the surrounding medium. Even though synchronization is local only, we observed global patterns of traveling metachronal waves across the zebrafish multiciliated epithelium. Intriguingly, these global wave direction patterns are conserved across individual fish, but different for left and right nose, unveiling a chiral asymmetry of metachronal coordination. To understand the implications of synchronization for fluid pumping, we used a computational model of a regular array of cilia. We found that local metachronal synchronization prevents steric collisions, cilia colliding with each other, and improves fluid pumping in dense cilia carpets, but hardly affects the direction of fluid flow. In conclusion, we show that local synchronization together with tissue-scale cilia alignment coincide and generate metachronal wave patterns in multiciliated epithelia, which enhance their physiological function of fluid pumping.
One of the feats of adaptive immunity is its ability to recognize foreign pathogens while sparing the self. During maturation in the thymus, T cells are selected through the binding properties of their antigen-specific T-cell receptor (TCR), through the elimination of both weakly (positive selection) and strongly (negative selection) self-reactive receptors. However, the impact of thymic selection on the TCR repertoire is poorly understood. Here, we use transgenic Nur77-mice expressing a T-cell activation reporter to study the repertoires of thymic T cells at various stages of their development, including cells that do not pass selection. We combine high-throughput repertoire sequencing with statistical inference techniques to characterize the selection of the TCR in these distinct subsets. We find small but significant differences in the TCR repertoire parameters between the maturation stages, which recapitulate known differentiation pathways leading to the CD4+ and CD8+ subtypes. These differences can be simulated by simple models of selection acting linearly on the sequence features. We find no evidence of specific sequences or sequence motifs or features that are suppressed by negative selection. These results favour a collective or statistical model for T-cell self non-self discrimination, where negative selection biases the repertoire away from self recognition, rather than ensuring lack of self-reactivity at the single-cell level.