William Carlquist

 Analysis and Modeling of Min Protein Oscillation and Wave Pattern Formation in E. coli

In E. coli, oscillation of Min proteins between cell poles disrupts initiation of cell division outside of the mid-cell region, forcing division at mid-cell.  MinD-ATP complexes form pole bound polymers. Binding of MinE proteins to growing MinD-ATP polymers causes dephosphorylation of MinD bound ATP.  MinD-ADP complexes detach from polymers and exchange ADP for ATP, allowing for  ontinuation of polymer growth and decay cycles.  Growth and decay cycles of MinD polymers oscillate between cell poles.  In vitro experiments have shown formation of planar wave patterns composed of only MinD and MinE proteins.  Previously published reaction-diffusion models have shown oscillation of MinD and MinE proteins between cell poles or wave pattern formation.  However, a model does not currently exist that explains pole-to-pole oscillations and wave pattern formation, while incorporating MinD polymer growth and fully encompassing experimental biological data.  I am  analyzing previously published or proposed models to develop a more comprehensive mathematical understanding of the Min systems underlying biology.