Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência
The actin cytoskeleton controls numerous cellular processes. Actin filaments (F-actin) are not found in the cells as disorganized mesh-works, but rather as networks with precise organizations, assembled in specific locations within the cell cytoplasm. For instance, at least 15 distinct actin filaments structures have been identified in mammalian cells in culture, but it is likely that many more exist. Numerous lines of evidence indicate that the geometrical, mechanical and dynamic properties of each F-actin network are specifically adapted to perform a particular cellular function.
In order to understand the cell biology and pathologies linked to the actin microfilament system, we aim to reveal mechanisms that control actin filament identity in epithelia and characterize the function of distinct F-actin networks, in particular, in mediating signal transduction pathways involved in tissue growth control.
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