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Dynamics and Self-organisation in Complex Cytoskeletal Networks

Objective

The requirements on the eukaryotic cytoskeleton are not only of high complexity, but include demands that are actually contradictory in the first place: While the dynamic character of cytoskeletal structures is essential for the motility of cells, their ability for morphological reorganisations and cell division, the structural integrity of cells relies on the stability of cytoskeletal structures. From a biophysical point of view, this dynamic structure formation and stabilization stems from a self-organisation process that is tightly controlled by the simultaneous and competing function of a plethora of actin binding proteins (ABPs). To understand the self-organisation phenomena observed in the cytoskeleton it is therefore indispensable to first shed light on the functional role of ABPs and their underlying molecular mechanisms. Hereby development of reliable reconstituted model systems as has been proven by the great progress achieved in our understanding of individual crosslinking proteins that turn the cytoskeleton into a viscoelastic physical gel. The advantage of such reconstituted systems is that the biological complexity is decreased to an accessible level that the physical principles can be explored and identified.
It is the aim of the present proposal to successively increase the complexity in a well defined manner to further progress in understanding the functional units of a cell. On the way to a sound physical understanding of cellular self organizing principles, the planned major step comprises the incorporation of active processes like the active (de-)polymerisation of filaments and motor mediated active reorganisation and contraction. We plan to develop new tools and approaches to address how the different kinds of ABPs are interacting with each other and how the structure, dynamics and function of the cytoskeleton is locally governed by the competition and interplay between them.

Call for proposal

ERC-2011-StG_20101014
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Host institution

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN
Address
Arcisstrasse 21
80333 Muenchen
Germany
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 495 195,67
Principal investigator
Andreas Bausch (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Ulrike Ronchetti (Ms.)

Beneficiaries (1)

TECHNISCHE UNIVERSITAET MUENCHEN
Germany
EU contribution
€ 1 495 195,67
Address
Arcisstrasse 21
80333 Muenchen
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Principal investigator
Andreas Bausch (Prof.)
Administrative Contact
Ulrike Ronchetti (Ms.)