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Cell and Molecular Biology

Self-organization and load adaptation by mammalian endocytic actin networks

Force generation by actin assembly shapes cellular membranes. The mechanisms that govern the organization of cytoskeletal complexes to produce directional force in cells are not understood, particularly in the localized membrane deformations required for membrane trafficking. An experimentally constrained multiscale model shows that a minimal branched actin network is sufficient to internalize endocytic pits against membrane tension. Around 200 activated Arp2/3 complexes are required for robust internalization.

Unwrapping Glial Engineering in the Vertebrate Nervous System

The long-term goal of the Kucenas Lab is to fundamentally understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate neural-glial and glial-glial interactions during nervous system development and injury/regeneration. Using Danio rerio (zebrafish) as a model system, we combine genetic and pharmacological perturbation, single cell manipulation, laser ablation/axotomy, small molecule screening, and in vivo, time-lapse imaging to directly and continuously observe glial cell origins, behaviors, and interactions in an intact vertebrate.

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