In addition to diffusive signals, cells in tissue also communicate via long, thin cellular protrusions, such as airinemes in zebrafish. Before establishing communication, cellular protrusions must find their target cell. Here we demonstrate that the shapes of airinemes in zebrafish are consistent with a finite persistent random walk model. The probability of contacting the target cell is maximized for a balance between ballistic search (straight) and diffusive search (highly curved, random). We find that the curvature of airinemes in zebrafish, extracted from live cell microscopy, is approximately the same value as the optimum in the simple persistent random walk model. We also explore the ability of the target cell to infer direction of the airineme's source, finding that there is a theoretical trade-off between search optimality and directional information. This provides a framework to characterize the shape, and performance objectives, of non-canonical cellular protrusions in general.
Data and computational scripts are available in a repository mentioned in the manuscript (on GitHub)https://github.com/sohyeonparkgithub/Airineme-optimal-target-search
- Jun Allard
- Yi Wang
- Dae Seok Eom
- Sohyeon Park
- Jun Allard
- Sohyeon Park
- Hyunjoong Kim
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All animal work in this study was conducted with the approval of the University of California Irvine Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (Protocol #AUP-19-043) in accordance with institutional and federal guidelines for the ethical use of animals.
- Pierre Sens, Institut Curie, CNRS UMR168, France
© 2022, Park 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 GNOM (GN) Guanine nucleotide Exchange Factor for ARF small GTPases (ARF-GEF) is among the best studied trafficking regulators in plants, playing crucial and unique developmental roles in patterning and polarity. The current models place GN at the Golgi apparatus (GA), where it mediates secretion/recycling, and at the plasma membrane (PM) presumably contributing to clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME). The mechanistic basis of the developmental function of GN, distinct from the other ARF-GEFs including its closest homologue GNOM-LIKE1 (GNL1), remains elusive. Insights from this study largely extend the current notions of GN function. We show that GN, but not GNL1, localizes to the cell periphery at long-lived structures distinct from clathrin-coated pits, while CME and secretion proceed normally in gn knockouts. The functional GN mutant variant GNfewerroots, absent from the GA, suggests that the cell periphery is the major site of GN action responsible for its developmental function. Following inhibition by Brefeldin A, GN, but not GNL1, relocates to the PM likely on exocytic vesicles, suggesting selective molecular associations en route to the cell periphery. A study of GN-GNL1 chimeric ARF-GEFs indicates that all GN domains contribute to the specific GN function in a partially redundant manner. Together, this study offers significant steps toward the elucidation of the mechanism underlying unique cellular and development functions of GNOM.
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