SKM 2023 – wissenschaftliches Programm

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DY: Fachverband Dynamik und Statistische Physik

DY 53: Active Matter V (joint session BP/CPP/DY)

DY 53.8: Vortrag

Freitag, 31. März 2023, 11:45–12:00, TOE 317

Dynamic instability of cytoplasmic compartments — •Melissa Rinaldin1,2 and Jan Brugués1,21Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany — 2Cluster of Excellence Physics of Life, TU Dresden, Dresden, Germany

Early embryos are the epitome of self-organization. Following the cell cycle oscillator, their internal structure is continuously reorganized into precise patterns at remarkable speeds. For example, the mm-sized egg of the frog Xenopus Laevis divides every 30 minutes into equally-sized cells. Physical processes such as autocatalytic growth, active transport, and reaction-diffusion can allow these embryos to keep up with fast cell cycle times, however, their understanding in early development remains largely elusive. Here, we present recent data from experiments of in vitro cytoplasmic extract obtained from frog eggs and exhibiting cell-free division. We show that the properties of the cell cycle oscillator regulate the pattern of cytoplasmic compartments. Specifically, by perturbing the oscillator, we establish that the interface of cytoplasmic compartments is unstable. We demonstrate that such instability arises from competing waves of autocatalytic microtubule growth, and can generate compartment fusion, strongly affecting the early embryonic pattern formation. Altogether, our results propose that the cell cycle oscillator plays a critical role in partitioning the cytoplasm of early embryos, keeping the dynamic instability of cytoplasmic compartments at bay.

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