Modeling Actin Regulations in Motility Structures of Cancer
The actin cytoskeleton is an important part of cellular motility. Expressions of actin regulators are altered in metastatic carcinomas. In this talk, I will discuss past and ongoing research on modeling two distinct motility structures involved in cancer metastasis, namely lamellipodia and invadopodia. Actin growth dynamics during the formation of the two structures show qualitatively similar trends, but closer analyses show distinct behaviors which suggests that key regulators may be playing different roles. In particular, one regulator called cofilin severs capped actin-filaments spurring further growth in the lamellipodia. Our mathematical model shows that its role during the formation of invadodia may be highly dependent on the availability of actin monomers.