CellDynaMo-stochastic reaction-diffusiondynamics model: Application to search-andcapture process of mitotic spindle assembly

Evgenii Kliuchnikov, Artem Zhmurov, Kenneth A. Marx, Alex Mogilner, Valeri Barsegov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We introduce a Stochastic Reaction-Diffusion-Dynamics Model (SRDDM) for simulations of cellular mechanochemical processes with high spatial and temporal resolution. The SRDDM is mapped into the CellDynaMo package, which couples the spatially inhomogeneous reaction-diffusion master equation to account for biochemical reactions and molecular transport within the Langevin Dynamics (LD) framework to describe dynamic mechanical processes. This computational infrastructure allows the simulation of hours of molecular machine dynamics in reasonable wall-clock time. We apply SRDDM to test performance of the Search-and-Capture of mitotic spindle assembly by simulating, in three spatial dimensions, dynamic instability of elastic microtubules anchored in two centrosomes, movement and deformations of geometrically realistic centromeres with flexible kinetochores and chromosome arms. Furthermore, the SRDDM describes the mechanics and kinetics of Ndc80 linkers mediating transient attachments of microtubules to the chromosomal kinetochores. The rates of these attachments and detachments depend upon phosphorylation states of the Ndc80 linkers, which are regulated in the model by explicitly accounting for the reactions of Aurora A and B kinase enzymes undergoing restricted diffusion. We find that there is an optimal rate of microtubule-kinetochore detachments which maximizes the accuracy of the chromosome connections, that adding chromosome arms to kinetochores improve the accuracy by slowing down chromosome movements, that Aurora A and kinetochore deformations have a small positive effect on the attachment accuracy, and that thermal fluctuations of the microtubules increase the rates of kinetochore capture and also improve the accuracy of spindle assembly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1010165
JournalPLoS computational biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Centromere
  • Centrosome
  • Chromosome Segregation
  • Kinetochores
  • Microtubules
  • Mitosis
  • Spindle Apparatus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Ecology
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Modeling and Simulation


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