The long and viscous road: uncovering nuclear diffusion barriers in closed mitosis

E Zavala, TT Marquez-Lago

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
153 Downloads (Pure)


Diffusion barriers are effective means for constraining protein lateral exchange in cellular membranes. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, they have been shown to sustain parental identity through asymmetric segregation of ageing factors during closed mitosis. Even though barriers have been extensively studied in the plasma membrane, their identity and organization within the nucleus remains poorly understood. Based on different lines of experimental evidence, we present a model of the composition and structural organization of a nuclear diffusion barrier during anaphase. By means of spatial stochastic simulations, we propose how specialised lipid domains, protein rings, and morphological changes of the nucleus may coordinate to restrict protein exchange between mother and daughter nuclear lobes. We explore distinct, plausible configurations of these diffusion barriers and offer testable predictions regarding their protein exclusion properties and the diffusion regimes they generate. Our model predicts that, while a specialised lipid domain and an immobile protein ring at the bud neck can compartmentalize the nucleus during early anaphase; a specialised lipid domain spanning the elongated bridge between lobes would be entirely sufficient during late anaphase. Our work shows how complex nuclear diffusion barriers in closed mitosis may arise from simple nanoscale biophysical interactions
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1003725
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPLoS Computational Biology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jul 2014


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