Interpretation of Cellular Imaging and AQP4 Quantification Data in a Single Cell Simulator

Kim SB, Hsu Y, Linninger AA
Source: Other
Publication Date: (2014)
Issue: 2(1): 218-237
Research Area:
Basic Research
Cells used in publication:
Astrocyte, rat
Species: rat
Tissue Origin: brain
The goal of the present study is to integrate different datasets in cell biology to derive additional quantitative information about a gene or protein of interest within a single cell using computational simulations. We propose a novel prototype cell simulator as a quantitative tool to integrate datasets including dynamic information about transcript and protein levels and the spatial information on protein trafficking in a complex cellular geometry. In order to represent the stochastic nature of transcription and gene expression, our cell simulator uses event-based stochastic simulations to capture transcription, translation, and dynamic trafficking events. In a reconstructed cellular geometry, a realistic microtubule structure is generated with a novel growth algorithm for simulating vesicular transport and trafficking events. In a case study, we investigate the change in quantitative expression levels of a water channel-aquaporin 4-in a single astrocyte cell, upon pharmacological treatment. Gillespie based discrete time approximation method results in stochastic fluctuation of mRNA and protein levels. In addition, we compute the dynamic trafficking of aquaporin-4 on microtubules in this reconstructed astrocyte. Computational predictions are validated with experimental data. The demonstrated cell simulator facilitates the analysis and prediction of protein expression dynamics.