Cytoskeletal logic: a model for molecular computation via Boolean operations in microtubules and microtubule-associated proteins

R. Lahoz-Beltra, Stuart R. Hameroff, Judith E. Dayhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Adaptive behaviors and dynamic activities within living cells are organized by the cytoskeleton: intracellular networks of interconnected protein polymers which include microtubules (MTs), actin, intermediate filaments, microtubule associated proteins (MAPs) and other protein structures. Cooperative interactions among cytoskeletal protein subunit conformational states have been used to model signal transmission and information processing. In the present work we present a theoretical model for molecular computing in which Boolean logic is implemented in parallel networks of individual MTs interconnected by MAPs. Conformational signals propagate on MTs as in data buses and in the model MAPs are considered as Boolean operators, either as bit-lines (like MTs) where a signal can be transported unchanged between MTs ('BUS-MAP'), or as bit-lines where a Boolean operation is performed in one of the two MAP-MT attachments ('LOGIC-MAP'). Three logic MAPs have been defined ('NOT-MAP', 'AND-MAP', 'XOR-MAP') and used to demonstrate addition, subtraction and other arithmetic operations. Although our choice of Boolean logic is arbitrary, the simulations demonstrate symbolic manipulation in a connectionist system and suggest that MT-MAP networks can perform computation in living cells and are candidates for future molecular computing devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalBioSystems
Volume29
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993

Keywords

  • Boolean algebra
  • Boolean logic
  • Cellular automata
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Logic
  • Microtubule associated proteins
  • Microtubules
  • Molecular computation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

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