Tue, 22/10/2019 - 14:15
Campus Saarbr├╝cken, E2 6, E04

Prof. Dr. Sandra Iden
Host: Prof. Dr. Heiko Rieger & Prof. Dr. Markus Hoth
Saarland University, Cell and Developmental Biology

Coordination of cell polarity, mechanics and fate - from molecular to organismal scale

Plasticity in cyto-architecture is essential for the formation and repair of complex tissues and for effective adaptation to organismal constraints. How changes in cell shape and intercellular communication are coordinated in continuously self-renewing tissues like the skin epidermis remains an intriguing open question. The Iden lab studies how cell polarity, cell adhesion and mechanical signals are coupled at the molecular, cellular and organismal level to ensure proper tissue function. Combining mouse genetics and disease models with primary co-culture systems, imaging and biophysical approaches, we aim to understand causal relationships between disturbed polarity signaling, degeneration, and cancer. In this context, our gain- and loss-of-function studies identified key roles of conserved polarity proteins and their interacting molecules in epithelial and non-epithelial cell types of the skin.

In this seminar, I will present recent mechanistic insights into coupling of polarity signaling with RhoA/actomyosin-dependent cell mechanics, putting forward a new paradigm how polarity networks safeguard epidermal cell fate decisions. Furthermore, our findings on intrinsic and extrinsic functions of apical polarity proteins in mammalian skin cancers and in tissue-scale communication between epithelial cells, melanocytes and immune cells will be summarized.













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