Mathematical models for cell polarization and gradient sensing




Timothy Elston, PhD

Professor of Pharmacology

University of North Carolina 








Directed or “polarized” growth and the detection of chemical gradients are two fundamental cellular processes. Here we combine mathematical modeling with various experimental approaches to investigate the molecular mechanisms that underline both processes during the mating response of Saccharomyces cerevisiae (budding yeast). Our analysis reveals a novel method for gradient sensing and insight into the biochemical mechanisms that ensure the establishment of a unique polarity site.


Suggested Readings


1.     Wu, C., J. Chiou, M. Minakova, D. Tsygankov, T. Zyla, N. Savage, T.C. Elston, and D. Lew. 2015. Role of competition between polarity sites in establishing a unique front. eLife. 10.7554/eLife.11611.

2.    McClure, A., M. Minakova, J. Dyer, T. Zyla, T.C. Elston and D. Lew. 2015. Role of polarized G protein signaling in tracking pheromone gradients. Dev. Cell 35:471-482.