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On the modeling of endocytosis in yeast


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      During endocytosis, the cell membrane deforms to surround extracellular material and draw it into the cell. Experiments on clathrin-mediated endocytosis in yeast all agree that (i) actin polymerizes into a network of filaments exerting active forces on the membrane to deform it and (ii) the large scale membrane deformation is tubular in shape. Three competing ideas remain as to precisely how the actin filament network organizes itself to drive the deformation. To begin to address this issue, we use variational approaches and numerical simulations to analyze a meso-scale model of clathrin-mediated endocytosis in yeast. The meso-scale model breaks up the invagination process into three stages: (i) the initiation stage, where clathrin interacts with the membrane, (ii) the elongation stage, where the membrane is then pulled and/or squeezed via polymerizing actin filaments, followed by a (iii) final pinch-off stage. Our results suggest that the pinch-off mechanism is assisted by a pearling-like instability. In addition, we potentially rule out two of the three competing models for the organization of the actin filament network during the elongation stage. These two models could possibly be important in the pinch-off stage, however, where actin polymerization helps break off the vesicle. Implications and comparisons with earlier modeling of clathrin-mediated endocytosis in yeast is discussed.

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      15 pages, 12 figures
      q-bio.CB cond-mat.soft

      Condensed matter, Cell biology


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