Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, Dortmund
Keynote Speaker for MaxSynBio
Philippe Bastiaens is director of the Department of Systemic Cell Biology at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology and professor at the Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at the TU Dortmund. He experimentally and theoretically explores how the spatial organization of signaling molecules emerges from their collective dynamics and how this defines cellular identity.
Keynote Presentation: A self-organized morphogenic liposome which responds with shape changes to local light cues
Abstract: In order to study principles of morphogen-induced morphogenesis, we reconstituted a minimal out-of-equilibrium system based on the physicochemical processes of the canonical Rac1-Pak1-stathmin signaling pathway in cell-sized liposomes with encapsulated dynamic microtubule asters. The system was designed to respond to light cues, while maintaining the basic principles of localized signal transduction from morphogens that generate intracellular microtubule-regulator signaling gradient. Our results show that the signaling gradient affects astral-MT growth leading to membrane deformations, which not only define cell shape, but also constitute a means by which the MT-cytoskeleton and signaling can recursively interact. This interaction causes these proto-cells to self-organize into shapes that can transform their morphology in response to localized light-cues in dependence on their initial shape.