Cell–cell communication by quorum sensing and dimension-reduction
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Several bacterial taxa change their behavior if the population density exceeds a certain threshold. This phenomenon is the consequence of a communication system between the bacteria and is called quorum sensing (QS). Up to now, this phenomenon is mostly modeled at population level. However, new experimental techniques allow for single cell analysis. We introduce a modeling approach for the description of this QS system, including a discussion of the regulatory network and its bistable behavior. Based on this single-cell model we develop and analyze a spatially structured model for a cell population. Special attention is given to the scaling behavior w.r.t. the cell size (leading to an approximation theorem for stationary solutions) and its consequences for the interpretation of cell communication (QS versus diffusion sensing). Concluding, we apply the modeling approach to spatially structured experimental data.
KeywordsQuorum sensing Single cell analysis Bistability Dimension reduction Partial differential equation
Mathematics Subject Classification (2000)92C15 35A35
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