A tractable method for computing the distribution of receptor-ligand aggregation size

Annette Evangelisti, University of New Mexico

Photo of Annette Evangelisti

Our goal is to provide a tractable framework to study large and complex multivalient ligand-binding systems on the surface of cells. This research will further the understanding of cell signaling. An important factor in the chain of events that results in cell signaling is the number of receptors aggregated on the surface of a cell. The usual methods for determining the distribution of aggregates over time exceeds the computational power and storage capacity of current computers and are not valid for systems with small numbers of molecules. The specific aim of this work is to provide a tractable algorithm that gives the distribution of aggregate size over time, and is valid for small and large numbers of molecules.

We will verify the proposed algorithm by comparing the predicted data to experimental and analytical results. We will also prove the polynomial running time of the algorithm. The computer code will serve as a template for building software to predict the distribution of aggregates over time for large and complex problems involving multivalent ligand and multivalent receptors.

Abstract Author(s): Annette M. Evangelisti<br />Department of Biology<br />University of New Mexico<br />&nbsp;<br />William S. Hlavacek<br />Theoretical Division<br />Los Alamos National Laboratory