In order to migrate over large distances, cells within tissues and organisms rely on sensing local gradient cues which are irregular, conflicting, and changing over time and space. The mechanism how they generate persistent directional migration when signals are disrupted, while still remaining adaptive to signal's localization changes remain unknown. Here we find that single cells utilize a molecular mechanism akin to a working memory to satisfy these two opposing demands. We derive theoretically that this is characteristic for receptor networks maintained away from steady states. Time-resolved live-cell imaging of Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) phosphorylation dynamics shows that cells transiently memorize position of encountered signals via slow-escaping remnant of the polarized signaling state, a dynamical 'ghost', driving memory-guided persistent directional migration. The metastability of this state further enables migrational adaptation when encountering new signals. We thus identify basic mechanism of real-time computations underlying cellular navigation in changing chemoattractant fields.
Source data is provided with the submission. The numerical data used to generate the corresponding figures can be obtained from the codes deposited in https://github.com/akhileshpnn/Cell-memory.
- Aneta Koseska
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Arvind Murugan, University of Chicago, United States
© 2022, Nandan 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.