Cytoskeleton Assembly & Mechanics

Inside cells, macromolecules self-organize to build dynamic sub-cellular machines to control cell physiology.  We study regulation of the cytoskeletal assemblies driving cell adhesion, migration, contractility and mechanosensing.

Figure (above) Timelapse imaging of actin, focal adhesions and traction stress after removal of the myosin inhibitor, blebbistatin. See Aratyn-Schaus et. al.

Figure (above) Actin dynamics during optogenetic stimulation of RhoA in adherent fibroblast lacking the LIM protein zyxin. See Oakes et. al.

Figure (above) A super-resolution image of actin filaments (purple), myosin II motors (yellow) and zyxin (blue) at the leading edge of a migratory cell.

Figure (above, left) In vitro reconstruction of a network of bundled actin. See McCall et. al.

(above, right) Actin staining of fibroblasts placed on circular micropatterns of extracellular matrix. See Oakes et. al.

Selected References

  1. Optogenetic control of RhoA reveals Zyxin-mediated elasticity of stress fibres. Oakes PW, Wagner E, Brand CA, Probst D, Linke M, Schwarz US, Glotzer M, Gardel ML. Nat Commun. 2017; 8:15817.(PMID: 28604737) (link)(pdf)
  2. Geometry Regulates Traction Stresses in Adherent Cells. Oakes PW, Banerjee S, Marchetti CM and Gardel ML. Biophys J. 2014; 107(4):825-833. (PMID:25140417) (pdf)
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