Posted by CSB Department on January 31, 2014
Speaker: Michael Rosen, Ph.D.
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Department of Biophysics
Title: “Physical mechanisms of cell organization on micron length scales.”
Abstract: Cells are organized on length scales from Angstroms to microns. However, the mechanisms by which Angstrom-scale molecular properties are translated to micron-scale macroscopic properties are not well understood. We have shown that interactions between multivalent proteins and multivalent ligands can cause liquid-liquid demixing phase transitions, resulting in formation of micron-sized liquid droplets in aqueous solution and micron-sized puncta on membranes. These transitions appear to occur concomitantly with sol-gel transitions to form large, dynamic polymers within the droplets/puncta. I will discuss how such transitions may control the spatial organization and biochemical activity of actin regulatory signaling pathways in particular. Our data suggest a general mechanism by which cells may achieve micron-scale organization based on interactions between multivalent macromolecules.
Time: Friday, January 31, 2014 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Location: Munzer Auditorium
Contact: Marisol Urbano ‒ 650-725-5091 ‒ firstname.lastname@example.org