Molecular interactions across intercellular interfaces serve to convey information between cells and to trigger appropriate cell functions. Examples include cell development and growth in tissues, neuronal and immune synapses (ISs). Here, we introduce an agent-based Monte-Carlo simulation of user-defined cellular interfaces. The simulation allows for membrane molecules, embedded at intercellular contacts, to diffuse and interact, while capturing the topography and energetics of the plasma membranes of the interface. We provide a detailed example related to pattern formation in the early IS. Using simulation predictions and three-color single molecule localization microscopy (SMLM), we detected the intricate mutual patterning of T cell antigen receptors (TCRs), integrins and glycoproteins in early T cell contacts with stimulating coverslips. The simulation further captures the dynamics of the patterning under the experimental conditions and at the IS with antigen presenting cells (APCs). Thus, we provide a generic tool for simulating realistic cell-cell interfaces, which can be used for critical hypothesis testing and experimental design in an iterative manner.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2018 Neve-Oz, Sajman, Razvag and Sherman.
- Agent based Monte-Carlo simulation
- Cell signaling
- Direct STORM
- Kinetic segregation model
- Photoactivated localization microscopy
- Single molecule localization microscopy
- T cell activation