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Main Title: Simulating the complex cell design of Trypanosoma brucei and its motility
Author(s): Alizadehrad, Davod
Krüger, Timothy
Engstler, Markus
Stark, Holger
Type: Article
Language Code: en
Abstract: The flagellate Trypanosoma brucei, which causes the sleeping sickness when infecting a mammalian host, goes through an intricate life cycle. It has a rather complex propulsion mechanism and swims in diverse microenvironments. These continuously exert selective pressure, to which the trypanosome adjusts with its architecture and behavior. As a result, the trypanosome assumes a diversity of complex morphotypes during its life cycle. However, although cell biology has detailed form and function of most of them, experimental data on the dynamic behavior and development of most morphotypes is lacking. Here we show that simulation science can predict intermediate cell designs by conducting specific and controlled modifications of an accurate, nature-inspired cell model, which we developed using information from live cell analyses. The cell models account for several important characteristics of the real trypanosomal morphotypes, such as the geometry and elastic properties of the cell body, and their swimming mechanism using an eukaryotic flagellum. We introduce an elastic network model for the cell body, including bending rigidity and simulate swimming in a fluid environment, using the mesoscale simulation technique called multi-particle collision dynamics. The in silico trypanosome of the bloodstream form displays the characteristic in vivo rotational and translational motility pattern that is crucial for survival and virulence in the vertebrate host. Moreover, our model accurately simulates the trypanosome's tumbling and backward motion. We show that the distinctive course of the attached flagellum around the cell body is one important aspect to produce the observed swimming behavior in a viscous fluid, and also required to reach the maximal swimming velocity. Changing details of the flagellar attachment generates less efficient swimmers. We also simulate different morphotypes that occur during the parasite's development in the tsetse fly, and predict a flagellar course we have not been able to measure in experiments so far.
Issue Date: 2015
Date Available: 28-May-2018
DDC Class: 570 Biowissenschaften; Biologie
Subject(s): flagellate
sleeping sickness
simulation science
elastic network model
Journal Title: Plos Computational Biology
Publisher: PLOS
Publisher Place: San Francisco
Volume: 11
Issue: 1
Article Number: e1003967
Publisher DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003967
ISSN: 1553-734X
Appears in Collections:FG Statistische Physik weicher Materie und biologischer Systeme » Publications

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