Reference: Hall D (2023) MIL-CELL: a tool for multi-scale simulation of yeast replication and prion transmission. Eur Biophys J 52(8):673-704

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Abstract


The single-celled baker's yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, can sustain a number of amyloid-based prions, the three most prominent examples being [URE3], [PSI+], and [PIN+]. In the laboratory, haploid S. cerevisiae cells of a single mating type can acquire an amyloid prion in one of two ways (i) spontaneous nucleation of the prion within the yeast cell, and (ii) receipt via mother-to-daughter transmission during the cell division cycle. Similarly, prions can be lost due to (i) dissolution of the prion amyloid by its breakage into non-amyloid monomeric units, or (ii) preferential donation/retention of prions between the mother and daughter during cell division. Here we present a computational tool (Monitoring Induction and Loss of prions in Cells; MIL-CELL) for modelling these four general processes using a multiscale approach describing both spatial and kinetic aspects of the yeast life cycle and the amyloid-prion behavior. We describe the workings of the model, assumptions upon which it is based and some interesting simulation results pertaining to the wave-like spread of the epigenetic prion elements through the yeast population. MIL-CELL is provided as a stand-alone GUI executable program for free download with the paper. MIL-CELL is equipped with a relational database allowing all simulated properties to be searched, collated and graphed. Its ability to incorporate variation in heritable properties means MIL-CELL is also capable of simulating loss of the isogenic nature of a cell population over time. The capability to monitor both chronological and reproductive age also makes MIL-CELL potentially useful in studies of cell aging.

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Hall D
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