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Cell Wall Mechanosensation

Cell Wall Mechanosensation

By In Aiv Internship On September 13, 2019

Internship title: Cell Wall Mechanosensation

Name: Minc Nicolas
Affiliation: Institut Jacques Monod/ CNRS UMR7592
Address: 15, rue Hélène Brion, Pièce 354B , 3ème étage
E-mail: nicolas.minc@ijm.fr

LAB Director
Name: Nicolas Minc
Phone number: +33157278052
E-mail: nicolas.minc@ijm.fr

Name: Nicolas minc
Phone number: +33157278052
E-mail: nicolas.minc@ijm.fr

Subject Keywords: Cell Wall; Mechanosensation; Yeast; elasticity
Tools and methodologies: Genetics; Imaging; Microfabrication; Super-resolution
Summary of lab’s interests: We aim to elucidate how cells establish their particular morphology and internal organization in order to perform their given functions. We take a broad approach to this problem and use different organisms to identify general principles of cellular organization. Our originality is to integrate and develop state of the art quantitative approaches, such as micro-fabrication, modeling and image analysis. The two research axes of the team are: 1. The study of cell division positioning in early developing tissues. 2. The study of the emergence of cell morphogenesis in single-celled organisms, using the rod-shape fission yeast as a genetically tractable model.
Project summary: The cell wall, is a thin elastic layer encasing cells ranging from bacteria to fungi and plants, which protects the cell by opposing large mechanical stresses derived from high internal turgor pressure. Our team has a long standing interest on the contribution of the mechanics of the cell wall to cell growth and morphogenesis, using the rod-shaped model system fission yeast (Minc et al. Curr Biol 2009; Bonazzi et al. Dev Cell 2014; Davi and Minc Curr Op Microb, 2015). In particular, by developing the first method to image the dynamics of cell wall in live growing and dividing cells, we have recently evidenced important mechanisms of mechanosensation, central to cell survival and morphogenesis (Davi et al. Dev Cell 2018; Davi et al. PNAS 2019; Haupt et al. Curr Biol 2018). These mechanisms are regulated by transmembrane mechanosensors, Wsc1 and Mtl2, which feature long extracellular domains directly embedded into the cell wall, akin to animal cell’s integrins which probe the mechanics of the extracellular matrix. The overarching goal of this project, is to understand how those nanometric sensors may probe the mechanical properties of the Cell Wall at the cellular-scale level.
Interdisciplinary aspect of the project: We will build upon our initial observation of a massive clustering of the sensors in response to local cell wall mechanical compression. This interdisciplinary project will integrate quantitative live imaging, super-resolution, physical measurements of the cell wall, genetics and modelling. Those data shall bring core understanding on the generic principles of surface mechanosensing in walled cells and beyond.