Modelling the compartmentalization of splicing factors

G. Carrero, M. J. Hendzel, G. De Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Splicing factor (SF) compartments, also known as speckles, are heterogeneously distributed compartments within the nucleus of eukaryotic cells that are enriched in pre-mRNA SFs. We derive a fourth-order aggregation- diffusion model that describes a possible mechanism underlying the organization of SFs into speckles. The model incorporates two hypotheses, namely (1) that self-organization of dephosphorylated SFs, modulated by a phosphorylation- dephosphorylation cycle, is responsible for the formation and disappearance of speckles, and (2) that an underlying nuclear structure plays a major role in the organization of SFs. A linear stability analysis about homogeneous steady-state solutions of the model reveals how the self-interaction among dephosphorylated SFs can result in the onset of spatial patterns. A detailed bifurcation analysis of the model describes how phosphorylation and dephosphorylation modulate the onset of the compartmentalization of SFs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-312
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 7 Apr. 2006


  • Aggregation
  • Nuclear speckles
  • Pattern formation
  • Splicing factors


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