A semiquantitative theory aimed to describe the adhesion kinetics between soft objects, such as living cells or vesicles, has been developed. When rigid bodies are considered, the adhesion kinetics is successfully described by the classical Derjaguin, Landau, Verwey, and Overbeek (DLVO) picture, where the energy profile of two approaching bodies is given by a two asymmetrical potential wells separated by a barrier. The transition probability from the long-distance to the short-distance minimum defines the adhesion rate. Conversely, soft bodies might follow a different pathway to reach the short-distance minimum: thermally excited fluctuations give rise to local protrusions connecting the approaching bodies. These transient adhesion sites are stabilized by short-range adhesion forces (e.g., ligand-receptor interactions between membranes brought at contact distance), while they are destabilized both by repulsive forces and by the elastic deformation energy. Above a critical area of the contact site, the adhesion forces prevail: the contact site grows in size until the complete adhesion of the two bodies inside a short-distance minimum is attained. This nucleation mechanism has been developed in the framework of a nonequilibrium Fokker-Planck picture by considering both the adhesive patch growth and dissolution processes. In addition, we also investigated the effect of the ligand-receptor pairing kinetics at the adhesion site in the time course of the patch expansion. The ratio between the ligand-receptor pairing kinetics and the expansion rate of the adhesion site is of paramount relevance in determining the overall nucleation rate. The theory enables one to self-consistently include both thermodynamics (energy barrier height) and dynamic (viscosity) parameters, giving rise in some limiting cases to simple analytical formulas. The model could be employed to rationalize fusion kinetics between vesicles, provided the short-range adhesion transition is the rate-limiting step to the whole adhesion process. Approximate relationships between the experimental fusion rates reported in the literature and parameters such as membrane elastic bending modulus, repulsion strength, temperature, osmotic forces, ligand-receptor binding energy, solvent and membrane viscosities are satisfactory explained by our model. The present results hint a possible role of the initial long-distance -> short-distance transition in determining the whole fusion kinetics.
|Titolo:||Nucleation theory with delayed interactions: An application to the early stages of the receptor-mediated adhesion/fusion kinetics of lipid vesicles|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2010|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|