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Institute of Bioengineering

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"Cell polarisation guided by physical cues: from single cell to collective cell migration"

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Date: 20 January 2016   Time: 15:00 - 16:00

Front-rear polarization, characterized by the establishment of cell protrusive polarity and directed migration is controlled by intrinsic cell properties but also by extracellular cues such as biochemical and physical cues. I will focus on the impact of mechanical cues on the establishment and maintenance of front-rear polarization from single cell to collective cell behaviors. Single cell polarization that precedes cell migration depends on a large variety of mechanochemical signals that include external adhesive cues, substrate stiffness and topography as well as confinement. Polarization mechanisms are not only single cell processes but concern also cell ensembles. In this context, coordinated polarization of migrating tissues results from the application of traction forces on the extracellular matrix but also from the transmission of mechanical stress through intercellular junctions. In response, cells modulate the properties of their adhesive sites and their cytoskeletons through actin remodeling and microtubule distribution. I will present how these contribute to cell polarization through local or large scale mechanisms.

Tea and coffee provided after the seminar

Location:  David Sizer Lecture Theatre, Bancroft Building, Mile End