4 years ago

MicroRNA Intercellular Transfer and Bioelectrical Regulation of Model Multicellular Ensembles by the Gap Junction Connectivity

MicroRNA Intercellular Transfer and Bioelectrical Regulation of Model Multicellular Ensembles by the Gap Junction Connectivity
Salvador Meseguer, Salvador Mafe, Javier Cervera
We have studied theoretically the microRNA (miRNA) intercellular transfer through voltage-gated gap junctions in terms of a biophysically grounded system of coupled differential equations. Instead of modeling a specific system, we use a general approach describing the interplay between the genetic mechanisms and the single-cell electric potentials. The dynamics of the multicellular ensemble are simulated under different conditions including spatially inhomogeneous transcription rates and local intercellular transfer of miRNAs. These processes result in spatiotemporal changes of miRNA, mRNA, and ion channel protein concentrations that eventually modify the bioelectrical states of small multicellular domains because of the ensemble average nature of the electrical potential. The simulations allow a qualitative understanding of the context-dependent nature of the effects observed when specific signaling molecules are transferred through gap junctions. The results suggest that an efficient miRNA intercellular transfer could permit the spatiotemporal control of small cellular domains by the conversion of single-cell genetic and bioelectric states into multicellular states regulated by the gap junction interconnectivity.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b04774

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b04774

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