Biophysics

Slow Down, Stay Awhile

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Science  13 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5490, pp. 235
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5490.235b

Cells that circulate through the body via blood vessels must, when appropriate, stop moving and attach to the endothelial cells lining the vessels, as when traveling leukocytes arrive at sites of inflammation. Previous work has identified many of the participant molecules (selectins and integrins) and measured the physical properties thought to be involved. Chang et al. now incorporate these data into their Adhesive Dynamics model in order to characterize the general relationship between molecular function and cellular behavior. They describe three main regions of cell interactions - no adhesion, transient adhesion, and firm adhesion - in terms of two influential parameters, the dissociation rate in the absence of stress kr° and the bond interaction length γ. The critical transition zone can be subdivided into fast and transient adhesion regimes, where a slight change in either parameter shifts the predicted behavior from that of a rolling cell to one that moves in spurts. — GJC

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., in press.

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