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Journal Articles Frontiers in Physiology Year : 2014

Spatial distributions at equilibrium under heterogeneous transient subdiffusion

Abstract

Experimental measurements of the mobility of macromolecules, especially proteins, in cells and their membranes consistently report transient subdiffusion with possibly position-dependent -- nonhomogeneous -- properties. However, the spatiotemporal dynamics of protein mobility when transient subdiffusion is restricted to a subregion of space is still unclear. Here, we investigated the spatial distribution at equilibrium of proteins undergoing transient subdiffusion due to continuous-time random walks (CTRW) in a restricted subregion of a two-dimensional space. Our Monte-Carlo simulations suggest that this process leads to a nonhomogeneous spatial distribution of the proteins at equilibrium, where proteins increasingly accumulate in the CTRW subregion as its anomalous properties are increasingly marked. In the case of transient CTRW, we show that this accumulation is dictated by the asymptotic Brownian regime and not by the initial anomalous transient dynamics. Moreover, our results also show that this dominance of the asymptotic Brownian regime cannot be simply generalized to other scenarios of transient subdiffusion. In particular, nonhomogeneous transient subdiffusion due to hindrance by randomly-located immobile obstacles does not lead to such a strong local accumulation. These results suggest that, even though they exhibit the same time-dependence of the mean-squared displacement, the different scenarios proposed to account for subdiffusion in the cell lead to different protein distribution in space, even at equilibrium and without coupling with reaction.
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hal-01077735 , version 1 (12-11-2014)

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Hugues Berry, Hédi Soula. Spatial distributions at equilibrium under heterogeneous transient subdiffusion. Frontiers in Physiology, 2014, 5, 437 (8 p.). ⟨10.3389/fphys.2014.00437⟩. ⟨hal-01077735⟩
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