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Spatial Patterning of Mitochondrial Energy Production in Mouse Oocytes

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

Metabolism provides a continuous flux of energy that keeps living systems out of equilibrium and gives rise to biological form and function. Energy production is patterned across space and time within cells via the organization of mitochondria and spatial distributions in mitochondrial activity. Interestingly, mitochondrial energy flux directly shapes the actin cytoskeleton, which in turn drives intracellular motility and determines the spatial organization of mitochondria. The physical mechanisms that give rise to these coupled emergent dynamics and their implication on embryo development are unknown. In this talk, I will share ongoing work where I seek to decipher the mechanism behind the formation of subcellular spatial patterns of mitochondrial metabolism in mouse oocytes. I do so through the paradigm used to study complex systems in Physics by integrating quantitative microscopy, mechanical perturbations, and coarse-grained biophysical theory. Understanding these mechanisms in mouse oocytes will teach us quantitative cell biological principles that underlie the patterning of energy fluxes within cells. It will also provide insight into the critical role of sub-cellular energy fluxes in mammalian development and the non-equilibrium thermodynamics of living active matter.

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

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