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Biomechanics of budding of cellular membranes

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Ales Iglic, Marusa Lokar, Peter Veranic, Henry Hagerstrand, Veronika Kralj-Iglic

Abstract


Biomechanics of  the cell shape changes and the budding of the cellular membrane is described. It is indicated that two mechanisms based on internal degrees of freedom: in-plane orientational ordering of membrane constituents  and non-homogeneous lateral distribution of membrane constituents, are complementary mechanisms that may promote budding of the membrane and determine the shape of the released daughter vesicle (spherical or tubular). Tubular budding may be explained by self-assembly of anisotropic membrane nanodomains into larger domains  forming  nanotubular membrane protrusions. In contrast  to some previously reported theories, no direct external mechanical force is needed to explain the tubular budding of cellular  membrane. The mechanism  that  explains  tubular budding may also be responsible  for stabilization of tunneling nanotubes (TNT)  that connect cells and are  important for transport of matter and information in cellular systems.

Keywords


cell biomechanics; anisotropy; membrane free energy; tunneling nanotubes

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ISSN 1801-1217 (Print)
ISSN 1805-9422 (Online)
Published by the Czech Technical University in Prague, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering