Why a large-scale mode can be essential for understanding intracellular actin waves

Carsten Beta, Nir S. Gov, Arik Yochelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


During the last decade, intracellular actin waves have attracted much attention due to their essential role in various cellular functions, ranging from motility to cytokinesis. Experimental methods have advanced significantly and can capture the dynamics of actin waves over a large range of spatio-temporal scales. However, the corresponding coarse-grained theory mostly avoids the full complexity of this multi-scale phenomenon. In this perspective, we focus on a minimal continuum model of activator–inhibitor type and highlight the qualitative role of mass conservation, which is typically overlooked. Specifically, our interest is to connect between the mathematical mechanisms of pattern formation in the presence of a large-scale mode, due to mass conservation, and distinct behaviors of actin waves.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1533
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Actin polymerization
  • Activator–inhibitor models
  • Bifurcation theory
  • Mass conservation
  • Nonlinear waves
  • Pattern formation
  • Spatial localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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