Dynamic balance between vesicle transport and microtubule growth enables neurite outgrowth

Arjun Singh Yadaw, Mustafa M. Siddiq, Vera Rabinovich, Rosa Tolentino, Jens Hansen, Ravi Iyengar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Whole cell responses involve multiple subcellular processes (SCPs). To understand how balance between SCPs controls the dynamics of whole cell responses we studied neurite outgrowth in rat primary cortical neurons in culture. We used a combination of dynamical models and experiments to understand the conditions that permitted growth at a specified velocity and when aberrant growth could lead to the formation of dystrophic bulbs. We hypothesized that dystrophic bulb formation is due to quantitative imbalances between SCPs. Simulations predict redundancies between lower level sibling SCPs within each type of high level SCP. In contrast, higher level SCPs, such as vesicle transport and exocytosis or microtubule growth characteristic of each type need to be strictly coordinated with each other and imbalances result in stalling of neurite outgrowth. From these simulations, we predicted the effect of changing the activities of SCPs involved in vesicle exocytosis or microtubule growth could lead to formation of dystrophic bulbs. siRNA ablation experiments verified these predictions. We conclude that whole cell dynamics requires balance between the higher-level SCPs involved and imbalances can terminate whole cell responses such as neurite outgrowth.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1006877
JournalPLoS Computational Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019


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