Computer Simulation of Self-Organization in the Bacterial MinCDE System
Institute of Computational Mathematics and Mathematical Geophysics SB RAS
Abstract. The MinCDE protein system is present in Escherichia coli and some other bacteria. In vivo, the MinCDE prevents incorrect cell division. In vitro, the MinCDE forms protein waves and some time-spatial patterns. So far, exact mechanism of such self-organization are not clear. However, recently it has been suggested that self-organization in the MinCDE system arises from an interplay of two opposing mechanisms: cooperative binding of MinD proteins to the membrane, and accelerated MinD detachment due to persistent MinE rebinding. Based on this hypothesis we developed cellular automaton model of the MinDE self-organization. The graph of protein concentration, obtained as a result computer simulations, revealed similarity with the graphs from the experiments in vitro. In addition, the visualization of computational experiments showed propagating protein waves similar to those that emerge in vitro.
Key words: MinCDE system, cell division, E. coli, self-organization, cellular automata, computer simulation.