Chalmers Conferences, 9th European Conference on Mathematical and Theoretical Biology

Adhesion of membranes via receptor-ligand complexes: Binding cooperativity, domain formation and line tension effects
Bartosz Rozycki

Last modified: 2014-06-09


Cell membranes interact via anchored receptor and ligand molecules.
Central questions on cell adhesion concern the binding affinity of these
membrane-anchored molecules, the mechanisms leading to the receptor-ligand
domains observed during adhesion, and the role of line tension on the
boundaries of these domains. In my talk I will address these questions
from a theoretical perspective. I will focus on models in which the
membranes are described as elastic sheets, and the receptors and ligands
as rigid objects anchored in the membranes. In these models, the thermal
membrane roughness on the nanometer scale leads to a cooperative binding
of the anchored receptor and ligand molecules, since the receptor-ligand
binding smoothens out the membranes and facilitates the formation of
additional bonds. The interactions mediated by the receptor and ligand
molecules can be characterized by effective membrane adhesion potentials
that depend on the concentrations and binding energies of the molecules.