Olivier Bénichou

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Many cellular processes require a polarization axis which generally initially emerges as an inhomogeneous distribution of molecular markers in the cell. We present a simple analytical model of a general mechanism of cell polarization taking into account the positive feedback due to the coupled dynamics of molecular markers and cytoskeleton filaments. We(More)
The restriction endonuclease EcoRV can rapidly locate a short recognition site within long non-cognate DNA using 'facilitated diffusion'. This process has long been attributed to a sliding mechanism, in which the enzyme first binds to the DNA via nonspecific interaction and then moves along the DNA by 1D diffusion. Recent studies, however, provided evidence(More)
What is the fastest way of finding a randomly hidden target? Experimental observations reveal that the search behavior of foraging animals is generally intermittent: active search phases randomly alternate with phases of fast ballistic motion. Here, we study the efficiency of this two state search strategy by calculating analytically the mean first passage(More)
We introduce a minimal model of population range expansion in which the phenotypes of individuals present no selective advantage and differ only in their diffusion rate. We show that such neutral phenotypic variability (i.e., that does not modify the growth rate) alone can yield phenotype segregation at the front edge, even in absence of genetic noise, and(More)
Lévy flights are known to be optimal search strategies in the particular case of revisitable targets. In the relevant situation of nonrevisitable targets, we propose an alternative model of two-dimensional (2D) search processes, which explicitly relies on the widely observed intermittent behavior of foraging animals. We show analytically that intermittent(More)
We present a model of cell motility generated by actomyosin contraction of the cell cortex. We identify, analytically, dynamical instabilities of the cortex and show that they yield steady-state cortical flows, which, in turn, can induce cell migration in three-dimensional environments. This mechanism relies on the regulation of contractility by myosin,(More)
An increasing number of experimental studies employ single particle tracking to probe the physical environment in complex systems. We here propose and discuss what we believe are new methods to analyze the time series of the particle traces, in particular, for subdiffusion phenomena. We discuss the statistical properties of mean maximal excursions (MMEs),(More)
Facilitated diffusion of DNA-binding proteins is known to speed up target site location by combining three dimensional excursions and linear diffusion along the DNA. Here we explicitly calculate the distribution of the relocation lengths of such 3D excursions, and we quantify the short-range correlated excursions, also called hops, and the long-range(More)
It has long been appreciated that the transport properties of molecules can control reaction kinetics. This effect can be characterized by the time it takes a diffusing molecule to reach a target-the first-passage time (FPT). Determining the FPT distribution in realistic confined geometries has until now, however, seemed intractable. Here, we calculate this(More)
Many cellular functions rely on DNA-binding proteins finding and associating to specific sites in the genome. Yet the mechanisms underlying the target search remain poorly understood, especially in the case of the highly organized mammalian cell nucleus. Using as a model Tet repressors (TetRs) searching for a multi-array locus, we quantitatively analyse the(More)