The Role of Noise-Induced Excitable Dynamics of Rho Family GTPases in the Regulation of Actin Cytoskeleton

Rho GTPases, a family of signaling proteins, play a pivotal role by acting as molecular switches to regulate F-actin cytoskeletal and cell adhesion. Recent studies have shown that reaction-diffusion (RD) models have the ability to exhibit a wide variety of characteristic patterns of wave propagations of Rho GTPases. This study uses computational modeling to investigate a particular dynamic behavior directly relevant to the observed protrusive activity of motile cells: a single decaying traveling wave of actin polymerization. The model is conducted in a 2D cell of an arbitrarily complex shape. It reveals that the inhibitor decay rate controls the transition from reflecting waves to a single decaying wave and helps to avoid the formation of spiral waves. For noise, we observe that it controls the propagation of wavefronts, such that higher amplitudes of noise induce a greater number of waves. Additionally, the model distinguishes that noise induces waves at different time points. These findings serve as a framework for further comprehensive representation of actin polymerization during cellular morphogenesis.
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