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Article

Symmetry Breaking and Emergence of Directional Flows in Minimal Actomyosin Cortices

1
Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Am Klopferspitz 18, D-82152 Martinsried, Germany
2
Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Sandtorstr. 1, D-39106 Magdeburg, Germany
3
Graduate School of Quantitative Biosciences, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 25, D-81377 Munich, Germany
4
Department of Engineering, Brandenburg University of Applied Sciences, Magdeburger Str. 50, D-14770 Brandenburg, Germany
5
Institute for Process Engineering, Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Universitätsplatz 2, D-39106 Magdeburg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Cells 2020, 9(6), 1432; https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9061432
Received: 31 March 2020 / Revised: 28 May 2020 / Accepted: 31 May 2020 / Published: 9 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Symmetry Breaking in Cells and Tissues)
Cortical actomyosin flows, among other mechanisms, scale up spontaneous symmetry breaking and thus play pivotal roles in cell differentiation, division, and motility. According to many model systems, myosin motor-induced local contractions of initially isotropic actomyosin cortices are nucleation points for generating cortical flows. However, the positive feedback mechanisms by which spontaneous contractions can be amplified towards large-scale directed flows remain mostly speculative. To investigate such a process on spherical surfaces, we reconstituted and confined initially isotropic minimal actomyosin cortices to the interfaces of emulsion droplets. The presence of ATP leads to myosin-induced local contractions that self-organize and amplify into directed large-scale actomyosin flows. By combining our experiments with theory, we found that the feedback mechanism leading to a coordinated directional motion of actomyosin clusters can be described as asymmetric cluster vibrations, caused by intrinsic non-isotropic ATP consumption with spatial confinement. We identified fingerprints of vibrational states as the basis of directed motions by tracking individual actomyosin clusters. These vibrations may represent a generic key driver of directed actomyosin flows under spatial confinement in vitro and in living systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: bottom-up synthetic biology; motor proteins; pattern formation; self-organization bottom-up synthetic biology; motor proteins; pattern formation; self-organization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vogel, S.K.; Wölfer, C.; Ramirez-Diaz, D.A.; Flassig, R.J.; Sundmacher, K.; Schwille, P. Symmetry Breaking and Emergence of Directional Flows in Minimal Actomyosin Cortices. Cells 2020, 9, 1432. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9061432

AMA Style

Vogel SK, Wölfer C, Ramirez-Diaz DA, Flassig RJ, Sundmacher K, Schwille P. Symmetry Breaking and Emergence of Directional Flows in Minimal Actomyosin Cortices. Cells. 2020; 9(6):1432. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9061432

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vogel, Sven K., Christian Wölfer, Diego A. Ramirez-Diaz, Robert J. Flassig, Kai Sundmacher, and Petra Schwille. 2020. "Symmetry Breaking and Emergence of Directional Flows in Minimal Actomyosin Cortices" Cells 9, no. 6: 1432. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells9061432

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