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Taloni A.,CNR Institute for Energetics and Interphases | Taloni A.,University of Milan | Kardash E.,science II | Salman O.U.,CNR Institute for Energetics and Interphases | And 7 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2015

Cells modify their volume in response to changes in osmotic pressure but it is usually assumed that other active shape variations do not involve significant volume fluctuations. Here we report experiments demonstrating that water transport in and out of the cell is needed for the formation of blebs, commonly observed protrusions in the plasma membrane driven by cortex contraction. We develop and simulate a model of fluid-mediated membrane-cortex deformations and show that a permeable membrane is necessary for bleb formation which is otherwise impaired. Taken together, our experimental and theoretical results emphasize the subtle balance between hydrodynamics and elasticity in actively driven cell morphological changes. © 2015 American Physical Society.

Kressmann S.,science II | Campos C.,science II | Campos C.,Instituto Gulbenkian Of Ciencia | Castanon I.,science II | And 2 more authors.
Nature Cell Biology | Year: 2015

Asymmetric division of neural precursor cells contributes to the generation of a variety of neuronal types. Asymmetric division is mediated by the asymmetric inheritance of fate determinants by the two daughter cells. In vertebrates, asymmetric fate determinants, such as Par3 and Mib, are only now starting to be identified. Here we show that, during mitosis of neural precursors in zebrafish, directional trafficking of Sara endosomes to one of the daughters can function as such a determinant. In asymmetric lineages, where one daughter cell becomes a neuron (n cell) whereas the other divides again to give rise to two neurons (p cell), we found that the daughter that inherits most of the Sara endosomes acquires the p fate. Sara endosomes carry an endocytosed pool of the Notch ligand DeltaD, which is thereby itself distributed asymmetrically. Sara and Notch are both essential for cell fate assignation within asymmetric lineages. Therefore, the Sara endosome system determines the fate decision between neuronal differentiation and mitosis in asymmetric lineages and thereby contributes to controlling the number of neural precursors and differentiated neurons during neurogenesis in a vertebrate. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Wartlick O.,science II | Gonzalez-Gaitan M.,science II
Current Opinion in Genetics and Development | Year: 2011

In the wing imaginal disc of Drosophila melanogaster, the morphogen Dpp controls growth, probably in an instructive manner. Many models for growth control by Dpp have been proposed and have been extensively discussed elsewhere. In this review, we speculate on how instructive growth control could provide a link between Dpp signaling and cell growth and/or cell cycle progression and so implement morphogenetic growth control on the cellular and molecular levels. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Castanon I.,science II | Gonzalez-Gaitan M.,science II
Current Opinion in Cell Biology | Year: 2011

Tissue morphogenesis depends on the spatial arrangement of cells during development. A number of mechanisms have been described to contribute to the final shape of a tissue or organ, ranging from cell intercalation to the response of cells to chemotactic cues. One such mechanism is oriented cell division. Oriented cell division is determined by the position of the mitotic spindle. Indeed, there is increasing evidence implicating spindle misorientation in tissue and organ misshaping, which underlies disease conditions such as tumorigenesis or polycystic kidneys. Here we review recent studies addressing how the direction of tissue growth is determined by the orientation of cell division and how both extrinsic and intrinsic cues control the position of the mitotic spindle. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Goursot A.,Charles Gerhardt Institute | Mineva T.,Charles Gerhardt Institute | Bissig C.,science II | Gruenberg J.,science II | Salahub D.R.,University of Calgary
Journal of Physical Chemistry B | Year: 2010

Lysobisphosphatidic acid (LBPA), or bis(monoacylglycerol)phosphate, is a very interesting lipid, that is mainly found in late endosomes. It has several intriguing characteristics, which differ from those of other animal glycerophospholipids, that may be related to its specific functions, particularly in the metabolism of cholesterol. Its phosphodiester group is bonded at the sn-1 (sn-1') positions of the glycerols rather than at sn-3 (sn-3'); the position of the two fatty acid chains is still under debate but, increasingly, arguments favor the sn-2, sn-2' position in the native molecule, whereas isolation procedures or acidic conditions lead to the thermodynamically more stable sn-3, sn-3' structure. Because of these peculiar features, it can be expected that LBPA shape and interactions with membrane lipids and proteins are related to its structure at the molecular level. We applied quantum mechanical methods to study the structures and stabilities of the 2,2' and 3,3' LBPA isomers, using a step-by-step procedure from glycerol to precursors (in vitro syntheses) and to the final isoforms. The structures of the two positional LBPA isomers are substantially different, showing that the binding positions of the fatty acid chains on the glycerol backbone determine the shape of the LBPA molecule and thus, possibly, its functions. The 3,3' LBPA structures obtained are more stable with respect to the 2,2' form, as expected from experiment. If one argues that the in vivo synthesis starts from the present glycerol conformers and considering the most stable bis(glycero)phosphate structures, the 2,2' isoform should be the most probable isomer. © 2010 American Chemical Society.

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