Resolving mixed mechanisms of protein subdiffusion at the T cell plasma membrane

Yonatan Golan, Eilon Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The plasma membrane is a complex medium where transmembrane proteins diffuse and interact to facilitate cell function. Membrane protein mobility is affected by multiple mechanisms, including crowding, trapping, medium elasticity and structure, thus limiting our ability to distinguish them in intact cells. Here we characterize the mobility and organization of a short transmembrane protein at the plasma membrane of live T cells, using single particle tracking and photoactivated-localization microscopy. Protein mobility is highly heterogeneous, subdiffusive and ergodic-like. Using mobility characteristics, we segment individual trajectories into subpopulations with distinct Gaussian step-size distributions. Particles of low-to-medium mobility consist of clusters, diffusing in a viscoelastic and fractal-like medium and are enriched at the centre of the cell footprint. Particles of high mobility undergo weak confinement and are more evenly distributed. This study presents a methodological approach to resolve simultaneous mixed subdiffusion mechanisms acting on polydispersed samples and complex media such as cell membranes.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number15851
JournalNature Communications
Volume8
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Jun 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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