Cytoskeleton Seminars Prague

Loose series of lectures by visiting international scientists working in the cytoskeleton field – gathering the Prague cytoskeleton community.

Upcoming seminars:

Thursday, February 27, at 3.00 pm, in BIOCEV, seminar room U1.037.

Erwin Peterman (Prof., Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

A single-molecule view on intracellular transport in living C. elegans

Our cells and in particular our neurons are too large for thermal-driven diffusion to be an effective means of transport of proteins, organelles and other cargoes. Instead, eukaryotic organisms have evolved motor proteins that drive unidirectional motion over relatively long distances while consuming chemical energy in the form of ATP. Over the last two decades, important insights into the molecular mechanisms of several key motor proteins of the kinesin, myosin and dynein families have been obtained, among others by the application of advanced single-molecule methods. Over the last five years in my laboratory, the focus has shifted from studying the behavior of single motor proteins, working on their own in vitro, to studying motor proteins in their cellular environment. In our cells, motor proteins do not work on their own: cargoes are often transported by multiple motors, of the same type, but often also of opposite directionality. In addition, our cells are a very crowded environment, with many proteins bound to the motors’ tracks, which might hamper their motion and could lead to ‘traffic jams’.
To study these kinds of problems, we have focused on a particular transport mechanism, intraflagellar transport (IFT), which takes place in cilia and flagella and is essential for the assembly and maintenance of these organelles. As a model system we use IFT in the chemosensory cilia of the nematode C. elegans. In these organisms, IFT is driven by groups of tens of three different motor proteins: 2 kinesin-2’s (the slow kinesin-II and the fast OSM-3) that drive transport of cargo trains from base to tip of the cilium, and IFT dynein that drives transport back to the base. In order to visualize IFT components and cargoes with fluorescence microscopy, we generate mutant-nematodes expressing fluorescent versions of the proteins of interest. Our fluorescence and image analysis approaches allow us to visualize, track and quantify trains of IFT components moving together as well as individual motor or IFT proteins. Together, bulk and single-molecule data provide new, deep insights into the mechanisms of motor cooperation, which we try to capture in quantitative models.

Lab website

host: Zdenek Lansky, Lansky lab, IMG centrum BIOCEV

— —

May 11 2020, at BIOCEV

Thomas Surrey (Group leader, Centre for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona, Spain)


Research interest: We are studying how the internal structure of cells self-organizes. We want to understand how the different parts of the internal scaffold of the cell - the cytoskeleton - work together to form distinct architectures and how these architectures change as the cell divides or differentiates. In other words, we aim to find out how complex biological structures can be created from simple, smaller parts.

In many of our experiments, we are constructing a mini version of the cytoskeleton from a limited set of purified components. Using fluorescence microscopy, quantitative analysis and modelling, we can elucidate how the components of the mini-cytoskeleton come together and organize themselves into different structures. We want to understand how self-organizing scaffolds change in response to changing conditions inside the cell. These changing conditions can be caused by normal cell cycle activity changes, by signals stimulating differentiation, or by factors causing disease.

By combining approaches from engineering, chemistry and biology we aim to discover the design principles underlying intracellular order and mechanics, revealing new information about the fundamental physical properties of living cells.

Lab website

host: Marcus Braun, Lansky lab, IMG centrum BIOCEV

2020 Claire Friel (Nottingham University, United Kingdom)

Previous seminars:

January 13th__ 2020, at 2.00 pm, BIOCEV Vestec, seminar room U2.020

Stefan Diez, Managing Director of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Bioengineering (CMCB); Group leader at B CUBE - Center for Molecular Bioengineering - Technical University Dresden, Germany

Biomolecular Motors: From Cellular Function to Nanotechnological applications

CMCB website
Diez Lab website at B CUBE

host: Marcus Braun, Lansky lab, IMG centrum BIOCEV

November 18th 2019, 3 pm, Hašek's lecture hall, Institute of Molecular Genetics of Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic

Carsten Janke (Institut Curie, Paris, France)

Controlling microtubule functions with the tubulin code

Lab website


host: Vladimir Varga, Varga Lab, IMG,

November 4th 2019, Monday 14:30 pm, BIOCEV Vestec, second floor, U2.020A, Yellow Room

Teije Middelkoop (Stefan Grill Laboratory, MPI-CBG Dresden, Germany)

"The Actin Nucleator CYK-1/mDia Drives Chirality of Actomyosin Flows and Facilitates Left-Right Symmetry Breaking in Early C. elegans Embryos"

Grill Lab website

host: Zdenek Lansky, Lansky lab, IMG centrum BIOCEV

September 27th, 2019 William Hancock (Pennsylvania State University, USA)

September 12th, 2019 Rob Cross (Centre for Mechanochemical Cell Biology, Coventry, UK)

August 27th, 2019 Cecile Leduc (Institut Pasteur, Paris, France)

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