Mechanical control of cell division
UMC Utrecth, Center for Molecular Medicine, Molecular Cancer Research
During development and adult tissue homeostasis, cellular behavior is controlled by signals that cells receive from their local environment. This is not limited to biochemical signals, as cell behavior can be instructed by mechanical forces exerted by neighbouring cells and the surrounding tissue. Cells sense this mechanical information through numerous molecules, including cell adhesion receptors, which translate mechanical cues into an appropriate cellular response. I will discuss our recent findings on force transduction through the cell-cell adhesion protein E-cadherin, and its central role in the mechanical control of cell division to regulate epithelial integrity and architecture.
Martijn Gloerich is Assistant Professor at the department of Molecular Cancer Research at the University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands. Martijn obtained his PhD cum laude in 2011 from Utrecht University for his work on the regulation of small GTPases. Following his PhD, he received fellowships from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and Dutch Cancer Foundation (KWF) to perform postdoctoral research in the lab of James Nelson at Stanford University. Here, he gained experience with numerous microfabrication and bio-engineering techniques to study how communication between cells regulates cell behavior. In 2016 Martijn returned to the Netherlands to start his own research group at the University Medical Center Utrecht. His group uses an interdisciplinary approach to understand how cells sense and respond to mechanical forces to control tissue development and homeostasis, and how its disruption contributes to tumor progression.