6th Annual Symposium
Physics of Cancer
Leipzig, Germany
September 7-9, 2015
Invited Talk
Kinetics and dynamics of the homeostatic actin cortex
Karsten Kruse
Universität des Saarlandes Theoretische Biologische Physik, Campus der Universität, 66123 Saarbrücken, Germany
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The actin cytoskeleton forms a thin layer beneath the plasma membrane of eukaryotic cells. This actin cortex determines cell mechanical properties and hosts a number of important cellular structures. In spite of its importance key properties of the cortex remain poorly understood. In this presentation, we first use a hydrodynamic description of cytoskeletal dynamics to investigate a possible mechanism that leads to a well-defined cortical layer. In the second part, we will show how fluorescence microcopy can be used to quantify the molecular processes underlying cortex homeostasis. This analysis shows in particular that the cortex contains two distinct populations of long and short filaments that are, respectively, nucleated by formins and the Arp2/3 complex. AFM measurements suggest that the longer filaments are the main determinants of cortical elasticity.
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