Quantal basis of vesicle growth and information content, a unified approach

Eyal Nitzany, Ilan Hammel*, Isaac Meilijson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Secretory vesicles express a periodic multimodal size distribution. The successive modes are integral multiples of the smallest mode (G1). The vesicle content ranges from macromolecules (proteins, mucopolysaccharides and hormones) to low molecular weight molecules (neurotransmitters). A steady-state model has been developed to emulate a mechanism for the introduction of vesicles of monomer size, which grow by a unit addition mechanism, G1+Gn→Gn+1 which, at a later stage are eliminated from the system. We describe a model of growth and elimination transition rates which adequately illustrates the distributions of vesicle population size at steady-state and upon elimination. Consequently, prediction of normal behavior and pathological perturbations is feasible. Careful analysis of spontaneous secretion, as compared to short burst-induced secretion, suggests that the basic character-code for reliable communication should be within a range of only 8-10 vesicles' burst which may serve as a yes/no message.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-209
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Cellular communication
  • Homotypic fusion
  • Unit granule


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