University of Birmingham > Talks@bham > Applied Mathematics Seminar Series > Cytoskeleton self-organization is robust and depends on cell geometry alone

Cytoskeleton self-organization is robust and depends on cell geometry alone

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Cytoskeleton organization is essential for the correct cellular, and therefore organism, function. It is along the cytoskeleton that cellular components are transported to their biologically relevant positions, and perturbations of the cytoskeleton networks result in pathologies. In vitro studies suggest that both environment (e.g temperature) and genetics (e.g amounts of cytoskeleton components in cells) interfere with cytoskeleton properties. However, organisms are exposed to different environmental parameters, which additionally change during the lifespan of an individual. Furthermore, the genetics also varies between organisms. How then, despite all these varying parameter regimes, do cellular components reach relevant positions in correct amounts, enabling normal cell function and tissues be structurally stable?

We demonstrate that in Drosophila embryo epithelial cells the microtubule cytoskeleton self-organizes and this organization depends on the cell geometry alone. Using in vivo studies, stochastic simulations, and analysis of a probabilistic model, we show that microtubule organization is robust on the tissue scale, namely it converges to the same cell-shape-dependent steady state independently of cytoskeleton properties and behavior.

This talk is part of the Applied Mathematics Seminar Series series.

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