Cell surface dynamics: The balance between diffusion, aggregation and endocytosis

G. Nudelman, Y. Louzoun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The cell membrane lies at the interface between an extracellular set of signals and the appropriate intracellular response. Specifically, lymphocyte activity is determined by the spatial and structural response to antigens, as mediated by cell surface receptors. In order to correlate experimentally observed cellular activities, such as secretion, anergy, death, survival and division to external stimuli, it is necessary to monitor cell surface dynamics. B-lymphocyte activation results from the stimulation by large immune complexes comprising antigens, B-cell receptors (BcRs) and co-receptors. Compartmentalisation of the interacting molecular components is required in order to assure the rapid initiation of specialised and sustained signalling cascades. In this study, a Monte Carlo simulation of the cell membrane dynamics was developed to clarify the receptor dynamics, aggregation mechanisms and their combined effect on cellular functions. This simulation is based on experimentally measured parameters and represents a feasible, advanced and reliable framework to investigate the cell surface. The current study focussed on B-cell surface dynamics. A model demonstrating the basic properties of BcR dynamics and how BcR kinetics is affected by lipid rafts is developed. The authors studied BcR interactions with multivalent ligands and the influence of lipid rafts on this interaction. Finally, the dynamics of the initial steps of BcR-mediated cell activation is estimated and the effect of the association of signalling molecules with lipid rafts is demonstrated. These results are used to suggest some novel hypotheses on BcR-mediated B-cell activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-42
Number of pages9
JournalIET Systems Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Aggregation
  • Association
  • Biochemistry
  • Biodiffusion
  • Biomembranes
  • Cellular biophysics
  • Lipid bilayers
  • Molecular biophysics
  • Monte Carlo methods
  • Proteins


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