Cross-talk between cell mechanics, cell shape and cell fate
A precise control of cell morphology is key for cell physiology, and cell shape deregulation is at the heart of many pathological disorders, including cancer. Cell morphology is intrinsically controlled by mechanical forces acting on the cell surface, to understand shape it is thus essential to investigate the regulation of cellular mechanics. We investigate how cellular mechanical properties are regulated through nanoscale processes within cellular actin networks, and how this regulation drives cellular shape changes. Furthermore, cell fate transitions are often associated with changes in cell shape, and strong evidence points to the existence of feedbacks between mechanics, morphology and fate decisions. We investigate this interplay in several model systems, including embryonic stem cells and gastruloids.
Taken together, using a combination of cell biology experiments, quantitative imaging, biophysical measurements and modelling, we aim to understand the control of cell shape across scales and the crosstalk between cell mechanics, morphology and fate.
Truong Quang BA, Peters R, Cassani DAD, Chugh P, Clark AG, Agnew M, Charras G, Paluch EK. Extent of myosin penetration within the actin cortex regulates cell surface mechanics. Nat Commun. 2021, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-021-26611-2
Chaigne A, Smith MB, Lopez Cavestany R, Hannezo E, Chalut KJ, Paluch EK. Three-dimensional geometry controls division symmetry in stem cell colonies. J Cell Sci. 2021, DOI: 10.1242/jcs.255018
Chaigne A, Labouesse C, White IJ, Agnew M, Hannezo E, Chalut KJ, Paluch EK. Abscission Couples Cell Division to Embryonic Stem Cell Fate. Dev Cell. 2020, DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2020.09.001
Serres MP, Samwer M, Truong Quang BA, Lavoie G, Perera U, Görlich D, Charras G, Petronczki M, Roux PP, Paluch EK. F-Actin Interactome Reveals Vimentin as a Key Regulator of Actin Organization and Cell Mechanics in Mitosis. Dev Cell. 2020, DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2019.12.011
Chugh P, Clark AG, Smith MB, Cassani DAD, Dierkes K, Ragab A, Roux PP, Charras G, Salbreux G, Paluch EK. Actin cortex architecture regulates cell surface tension. Nat Cell Biol. 2017, DOI: 10.1038/ncb3525
Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge