Systems and Synthetic Biology

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 197–208 | Cite as

A mathematical model for dynamics of CD40 clustering

  • Uddipan Sarma
  • Prashant M. Gade
  • Bhaskar Saha
Research Article


Ligand bound-receptors in a signalosome complex trigger signals to determine cellular functions. Upon ligand binding, the ligand–receptor complexes form clusters on cell membrane. Guided by the previous experimental reports on the cluster formation of CD40, a trans membrane receptor for CD40-ligand, we built a minimal model of the receptor cluster formation. In this model, we studied co-operative and non-co-operative clustering of a maximum of four CD40 molecules assuming a positive mediator of clustering such as cholesterol to be present in both cases. We observed that co-operative interactions between CD40 molecules resulted in more of the largest CD40 clusters than that observed with the non-co-operatively interacting CD40 molecules. We performed global sensitivity analysis on the model parameters and the analyses suggested that cholesterol influenced only the initial stage of the co-operatively clustering CD40 molecules but it affects both the initial and the final stages in case of the non-co-operatively clustering CD40 molecules. Robustness analyses revealed that in both co-operative and non-co-operative interactions, the higher order clusters beyond a critical size are more robust with respect to alterations in the environmental parameters including the cholesterol. Thus, the role of co-operative and non-co-operative interactions in environment-influenced receptor clustering is reported for the first time.


CD40 Clustering dynamics Kinetic model for receptor clustering Cholesterol in receptor clustering Co-operativity in receptor clustering and robustness 



All authors thank Department of Biotechnology for financial assistance.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uddipan Sarma
    • 1
  • Prashant M. Gade
    • 2
  • Bhaskar Saha
    • 1
  1. 1.National Centre for Cell SciencePuneIndia
  2. 2.PG Department of PhysicsRTM Nagpur UniversityNagpurIndia

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