This content will become publicly available on September 15, 2023
- Discher, Dennis
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- Molecular Biology of the Cell
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Hydrodynamic flow produced by multi-ciliated cells is critical for fluid circulation and cell motility. Hundreds of cilia beat with metachronal synchrony for fluid flow. Cilia-driven fluid flow produces extracellular hydrodynamic forces that cause neighboring cilia to beat in a synchronized manner. However, hydrodynamic coupling between neighboring cilia is not the sole mechanism that drives cilia synchrony. Cilia are nucleated by basal bodies (BBs) that link to each other and to the cell's cortex via BB-associated appendages. The intracellular BB and cortical network is hypothesized to synchronize ciliary beating by transmitting cilia coordination cues. The extent of intracellular ciliary connections and the nature of these stimuli remain unclear. Moreover, how BB connections influence the dynamics of individual cilia has not been established. We show by FIB-SEM imaging that cilia are coupled both longitudinally and laterally in the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila by the underlying BB and cortical cytoskeletal network. To visualize the behavior of individual cilia in live, immobilized Tetrahymena cells, we developed Delivered Iron Particle Ubiety Live Light- (DIPULL) microscopy. Quantitative and computer analyses of ciliary dynamics reveal that BB connections control ciliary waveform and coordinate ciliary beating. Loss of BB connections reduces cilia-dependent fluid flow forces.
Motile cilia are slender, hair-like cellular appendages that spontaneously oscillate under the action of internal molecular motors and are typically found in dense arrays. These active filaments coordinate their beating to generate metachronal waves that drive long-range fluid transport and locomotion. Until now, our understanding of their collective behavior largely comes from the study of minimal models that coarse grain the relevant biophysics and the hydrodynamics of slender structures. Here we build on a detailed biophysical model to elucidate the emergence of metachronal waves on millimeter scales from nanometer-scale motor activity inside individual cilia. Our study of a one-dimensional lattice of cilia in the presence of hydrodynamic and steric interactions reveals how metachronal waves are formed and maintained. We find that, in homogeneous beds of cilia, these interactions lead to multiple attracting states, all of which are characterized by an integer charge that is conserved. This even allows us to design initial conditions that lead to predictable emergent states. Finally, and very importantly, we show that, in nonuniform ciliary tissues, boundaries and inhomogeneities provide a robust route to metachronal waves.
Hydrodynamics of Metachronal Motion: Effects of Spatial Asymmetry on the Flow Interaction Between Adjacent Appendages
Metachronal motion is a unique swimming strategy widely adopted by many small animals on the scale of microns up to several centimeters (e.g., ctenophores, copepods, krill, and shrimp). During propulsion, each evenly spaced appendage performs a propulsive stroke sequentially with a constant phaselag from its neighbor, forming a metachronal wave. To produce net thrust in the low-to-intermediate Reynolds number regime, where viscous forces are dominant, the beat cycle of a metachronal appendage must present significant spatial asymmetry between the power and recovery stroke. As the Reynolds number increases, the beat cycle is observed to change from high spatial asymmetry to lower spatial asymmetry. However, it is still unclear how the magnitude of spatial asymmetry can modify the shear layers near the tip of appendages and thus affect its associated hydrodynamic performance. In this study, ctenophores are used to investigate the hydrodynamics of multiple appendages performing a metachronal wave. Ctenophores swim using paddle-like ciliary structures (i.e., ctenes), which beat metachronally in rows circumscribing an ovoid body. Based on high-speed video recordings, we reconstruct the metachronal wave of ctenes for both a lower spatial asymmetry case and a higher spatial asymmetry case. An in-house immersed-boundary-method-based computational fluid dynamics solver is usedmore »
Beating flagella exhibit a variety of synchronization modes. This synchrony has long been attributed to hydrodynamic coupling between the flagella. However, recent work with flagellated algae indicates that a mechanism internal to the cell, through the contractile fibres connecting the flagella basal bodies, must be at play to actively modulate flagellar synchrony. Exactly how basal coupling mediates flagellar coordination remains unclear. Here, we examine the role of basal coupling in the synchronization of the model biflagellate Chlamydomonas reinhardtii using a series of mathematical models of decreasing levels of complexity. We report that basal coupling is sufficient to achieve inphase, antiphase and bistable synchrony, even in the absence of hydrodynamic coupling and flagellar compliance. These modes can be reached by modulating the activity level of the individual flagella or the strength of the basal coupling. We observe a slip mode when allowing for differential flagellar activity, just as in experiments with live cells. We introduce a dimensionless ratio of flagellar activity to basal coupling that is predictive of the mode of synchrony. This ratio allows us to query biological parameters which are not yet directly measurable experimentally. Our work shows a concrete route for cells to actively control the synchronization ofmore »
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