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Issue 19, 2015
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Cluster coarsening on drops exhibits strong and sudden size-selectivity

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Abstract

Autophagy, an important process for degradation of cellular components, requires the targeting of autophagy receptor proteins to potential substrates. Receptor proteins have been observed to form clusters on membranes. To understand how receptor clusters might affect autophagy selectivity, we model cluster coarsening on a polydisperse collection of spherical drop-like substrates. Our model receptor corresponds to NBR1, which supports peroxisome autophagy. We recover dynamical scaling of cluster sizes, but find that changing the drop size distribution changes the cluster-size scaling distribution. The magnitude of this effect is similar to how changing the spatial-dimension affects scaling in bulk systems. We also observe a sudden onset of size-selection of the remaining drops with clusters, due to clusters evaporating from smaller drops and growing on larger drops. This coarsening-driven size selection provides a physical mechanism for autophagy selectivity, and may explain reports of size selection during peroxisome degradation.

Graphical abstract: Cluster coarsening on drops exhibits strong and sudden size-selectivity

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Publication details

The article was received on 03 Feb 2015, accepted on 24 Mar 2015 and first published on 27 Mar 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5SM00284B
Citation: Soft Matter, 2015,11, 3786-3793
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Cluster coarsening on drops exhibits strong and sudden size-selectivity

    A. I. Brown and A. D. Rutenberg, Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 3786
    DOI: 10.1039/C5SM00284B

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