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Forces and stress in development: how the tissue microenvironment shapes single cell dynamics, motility and tissue clearance

20 Jun 18

Speaker: Verena Ruprecht, Dr. Group Leader Cell and Tissue Dynamics Group Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG). Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology.



Organizers: IRB Barcelona

Date: Wednesday, 20 June, 15:00h

Place: Aula Fèlix Serratosa, Parc Científic de Barcelona

Host: Students and postdocs of the C&DB programme.



Insight into the dynamics of single cellular building blocks is key to our understanding of tissue development, homeostasis and disease: shape change, active motility and collective cell behavior establish the architecture of complex multi-cellular tissue patterns in early morphogenesis and similar processes are activated during tissue homeostasis and pathological conditions.

But how are single cell dynamics regulated at specific spatial and temporal time-points of development and which mechanisms guarantee the robustness of dynamic tissue formation in the presence of stress and errors? In this talk I will discuss the influence of the tissue microenvironment on single cell dynamics, motility and tissue clearance. Mechanical forces and tissue crowding are getting into focus as important modulators of cytoskeletal dynamics, migration behavior and cell state. Using a combination of simplistic 3D in-vitro assays and live-cell in-vivo imaging we study the control mechanisms of cellular dynamics and motile cell transformations during early development. This experimental framework recently allowed us to uncover a contractility-based polarization mechanism that drives the rapid transformation of cells into a fast-amoeboid migration mode. Furthermore, mechanical forces and cellular stress in 3D environments can rapidly change cytoskeletal dynamics and migration competence in single and collectively migrating cells, providing a multi-scale feedback coupling between cellular and tissue-scale dynamics.

Finally, I will discuss ongoing work on tissue stress responses in the early embryo that guarantee robustness against errors via rapid apoptotic cell clearance.


Cell and Developmental Biology Programme Seminar