Regensburg 2019 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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BP: Fachverband Biologische Physik

BP 5: Systems biology & gene expression and signaling

BP 5.5: Vortrag

Montag, 1. April 2019, 16:15–16:30, H11

Membrane diffusion imposes a cell size-dependent polarity switch — •Lars Hubatsch1, 2, Florent Peglion2, Jacob Reich2, Nelio TL Rodrigues2, Nisha Hirani2, Rukshala Illukkumbura2, and Nathan W Goehring2, 31MPI for the Physics of Complex Systems — 2The Francis Crick Institute — 3MRC LMCB, University College London

Reaction - diffusion networks have been established as a ubiquitous way of patterning living systems, bridging between length scales, from single cells to large tissues. Cell polarity, as one of the most fundamental patterns in biology, has been the subject of detailed biological studies, enabling quantitative modelling of the underlying patterning networks. Here, we investigate how cell polarity patterns are influenced by cell size. Many classical types of reaction-diffusion systems exhibit intrinsic length scales, giving rise to a minimum system size below which a pattern returns to uniformity. We show theoretically that such a size threshold is a common feature of current models for polarity. Next, using kinetic parameters measured by single-molecule techniques we quantitatively predict the cell size below which polarity should become unstable in our experimental system, the early C. elegans embryo. Using different mechanical and genetic perturbations in conjunction with 3D live-imaging we show that this size threshold exists in vivo. Cell size-dependent polarity thresholds may explain the commonly observed link between cell size and asymmetric division potential in stem cell lineages.

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