Non-Brownian dynamics and strategy of amoeboid cell locomotion

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Amoeboid cells such as Dictyostelium discoideum and Madin-Darby canine kidney cells show the non- Brownian dynamics of migration characterized by the superdiffusive increase of mean-squared displacement. In order to elucidate the physical mechanism of this non-Brownian dynamics, a computational model is developed which highlights a group of inhibitory molecules for actin polymerization. Based on this model, we propose a hypothesis that inhibitory molecules are sent backward in the moving cell to accumulate at the rear of cell. The accumulated inhibitory molecules at the rear further promote cell locomotion to form a slow positive feedback loop of the whole-cell scale. The persistent straightforward migration is stabilized with this feedback mechanism, but the fluctuation in the distribution of inhibitory molecules and the cell shape deformation concurrently interrupt the persistent motion to turn the cell into a new direction. A sequence of switching behaviors between persistent motions and random turns gives rise to the superdiffusive migration in the absence of the external guidance signal. In the complex environment with obstacles, this combined process of persistent motions and random turns drives the simulated amoebae to solve the maze problem in a highly efficient way, which suggests the biological advantage for cells to bear the non-Brownian dynamics.


  • Physical Review E

    Physical Review E (85), 041909-041909, 2012-04

    American Physical Society


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