Theoretical study of actin layers attachment and separation
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We use the theory of active gels to study theoretically the merging and separation of two actin dense layers akin to cortical layers of animal cells. The layers bind at a distance equal to twice the thickness of a free layer, thus forming a single dense layer, similar in this sense to a lamellipodium. When that unique layer is stretched apart, it is resilient to break apart up to a critical length larger than twice the thickness of a free layer. We show that this behavior can result from the high contractile properties of the actomyosin gel due to the activity of myosin molecular motors. Furthermore, we establish that the stability of the stretched single layer is highly dependent on the properties of the gel. Indeed, the nematic order of the actin filaments along the polymerizing membranes is a destabilizing factor.
KeywordsLiving systems: Cellular Processes