Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.

Subscribe

Logo for

Science 336 (6078): 175-179

Copyright © 2012 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Cell Polarity: Quantitative Modeling as a Tool in Cell Biology

Alex Mogilner,1,* Jun Allard,1 Roy Wollman2

Abstract: Among a number of innovative approaches that have modernized cell biology, modeling has a prominent yet unusual place. One popular view is that we progress linearly, from conceptual to ever more detailed models. We review recent discoveries of cell polarity mechanisms, in which modeling played an important role, to demonstrate that the experiment-theory feedback loop requires diverse models characterized by varying levels of biological detail and mathematical complexity. We argue that a quantitative model is a tool that has to fit an experimental study, and the model’s value should be judged not by how complex and detailed it is, but by what could be learned from it.

1 Department of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior and Department of Mathematics, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
2 Department of Chemical and Systems Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

* To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: mogilner{at}math.ucdavis.edu


THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN CITED BY OTHER ARTICLES:
The PAR network: redundancy and robustness in a symmetry-breaking system.
F. Motegi and G. Seydoux (2013)
Phil Trans R Soc B 368, 20130010
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
An intracellular partitioning-based framework for tissue cell polarity in plants and animals.
K. Abley, P. B. De Reuille, D. Strutt, A. Bangham, P. Prusinkiewicz, A. F. M. Maree, V. A. Grieneisen, and E. Coen (2013)
Development 140, 2061-2074
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Optically triggering spatiotemporally confined GPCR activity in a cell and programming neurite initiation and extension.
W. K. A. Karunarathne, L. Giri, V. Kalyanaraman, and N. Gautam (2013)
PNAS 110, E1565-E1574
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Cell polarity: models and mechanisms from yeast, worms and flies.
B. J. Thompson (2013)
Development 140, 13-21
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

To Advertise     Find Products


Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882