Flow Arrest in the Plasma Membrane

Michael Chein, Eran Perlson*, Yael Roichman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The arrangement of receptors in the plasma membrane strongly affects the ability of a cell to sense its environment both in terms of sensitivity and in terms of spatial resolution. The spatial and temporal arrangement of the receptors is affected in turn by the mechanical properties and the structure of the cell membrane. Here, we focus on characterizing the flow of the membrane in response to the motion of a protein embedded in it. We do so by measuring the correlated diffusion of extracellularly tagged transmembrane neurotrophin receptors TrkB and p75 on transfected neuronal cells. In accord with previous reports, we find that the motion of single receptors exhibits transient confinement to submicron domains. We confirm predictions based on hydrodynamics of fluid membranes, finding long-range correlations in the motion of the receptors in the plasma membrane. However, we discover that these correlations do not persist for long ranges, as predicted, but decay exponentially, with a typical decay length on the scale of the average confining domain size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)810-816
Number of pages7
JournalBiophysical Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - 3 Sep 2019


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