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Original Curve: Reshaping of archaeal cells

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SPLW02 - Active mechanics, from single cells to cell layers, tissues and development

Eukaryotic cells likely arose from the symbiosis of an archaeal and an (alphaproteo)bacterial cell. The archaeal host gave rise to the eukaryotic cell body, including the plasma membrane, and the associated proteobacteria went on to become mitochondria. Because of this, the nanoscale machinery that performs reshaping of eukaryotic membranes likely originates in archaea. Today I will discuss physical modelling of archaeal membrane reshaping, focusing on cell division via ESCRT -III machinery, in comparison with live cell data, and membrane trafficking. In particular, archaeal membranes are known to be dramatically different from eukaryotic and bacterial membranes: they are built out of bolalipids — lipids with two heads connected with one tail — organised into monolayers rather than bilayers. I will discuss the implication of this monolayer organisation on mechanical properties of archaeal membranes, their reshaping, and ability to sustain extreme environmental conditions.

This talk is part of the Isaac Newton Institute Seminar Series series.

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