Effect of cytoskeletal geometry on intracellular diffusion.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

A method is presented for determining the retardation of diffusion of particles inside cells owing to cytoskeletal barriers. The cytoskeletal meshwork is treated as a repeating periodic two-dimensional or three-dimensional lattice composed of elements of given size, shape, and spacing. We derive an analytic expression for the diffusion coefficient relative to that of the cytosol. This expression is evaluated by solving numerically an appropriate boundary-value problem for the Laplace equation. For the two-dimensional case, e.g., diffusion in a membrane, the results are quantitatively similar to those obtained by Saxton (1987. Biophys. J. 52:989-997) using Monte Carlo methods. The three-dimensional results are quantitatively similar to experimental results reported by Luby-Phelps et al. (1987. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 84:4910-4913) for the diffusion of dextran and Ficoll particles in Swiss 3T3 cells. By accounting for geometrical factors, these results allow one to assess the relative contributions of geometrical hindrance and of binding to the cytoskeletal lattice from measurements of intracellular diffusion coefficients of proteins.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Blum, JJ; Lawler, G; Reed, M; Shin, I

Published Date

  • November 1989

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 56 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 995 - 1005

PubMed ID

  • 2605308

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC1280597

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1542-0086

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0006-3495

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0006-3495(89)82744-4


  • eng