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Signal focusing through active transport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Article number010701
Number of pages6
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2015
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


The accuracy of molecular signaling in biological cells and novel diagnostic devices is ultimately limited by the counting noise floor imposed by the thermal diffusion. Motivated by the fact that messenger RNA and vesicle-engulfed signaling molecules transiently bind to molecular motors and are actively transported in biological cells, we show here that the random active delivery of signaling particles to within a typical diffusion distance to the receptor generically reduces the correlation time of the counting noise. Considering a variety of signaling particle sizes from mRNA to vesicles and cell sizes from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells, we show that the conditions for active focusing - faster and more precise signaling - are indeed compatible with observations in living cells. Our results improve the understanding of molecular cellular signaling and novel diagnostic devices.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland