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Pattern formation in the longevity-related expression of heat shock protein-16.2 in Caenorhabditis elegans. (English) Zbl 1400.92204
Summary: Aging in Caenorhabditis elegans is controlled, in part, by the insulin-like signaling and heat shock response pathways. Following thermal stress, expression levels of small heat shock protein-16.2 show a spatial patterning across the 20 intestinal cells that reside along the length of the worm. Here, we present a hypothesized mechanism that could lead to this patterned response and develop a mathematical model of this system to test our hypothesis. We propose that the patterned expression of heat shock protein is caused by a diffusion-driven instability within the pseudocoelom, or fluid-filled cavity, that borders the intestinal cells in C. elegans. This instability is due to the interactions between two classes of insulin-like peptides that serve antagonistic roles. We examine output from the developed model and compare it to experimental data on heat shock protein expression. Given biologically bounded parameters, the model presented is capable of producing patterns similar to what is observed experimentally and provides a first step in mathematically modeling aging-related mechanisms in C. elegans.
MSC:
92C40 Biochemistry, molecular biology
92C15 Developmental biology, pattern formation
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