Physical and Molecular Principles Governing Cytoskeletal Organization
The actin cytoskeleton is a set of biological polymers that enable cells to resist mechanical constraints or exert forces for a variety of cellular functions. Actin filaments are organized into multiple dense and dynamic networks of specific protein composition that can be rapidly remodeled according to the needs of the cell. The assembly of the different networks does not occur independently, but is the result of a global homeostasis at the cellular level. Any disruption of this precise balance can have dramatic consequences for cellular behavior, including disease.
In this talk I will discuss our efforts to understand some of the general principles that govern the assembly of the actin cytoskeleton. We are analyzing the physical and chemical parameters that influence the size and composition of actin networks, and how modulation of these parameters leads to global reorganization at the cellular level. Our goal is to elucidate the diversity of mechanisms involved and their physiological significance using a variety of approaches from biology, physics, and chemistry.
- Dr Alphée Michelot IBDM, CNRS, Marseille