Cell Dynamics Lab
from molecule to tissue
Techniques we use in the lab:
- Forward and reverse genetics. To this day, C. elegans genetics is one of most powerful tools to identify genes involved in a biological process, assemble them in genetic cascades, and understand how they interact functionally. We use a combination of genetic mutations, RNAi knock-down and CRISPR-Cas9 genome engineering approaches to decipher cortical dynamics.
- Optogenetics. We use light-controlled protein recruitment to acutely modulate protein concentration or activity, in space and time.
- Quantitative live cell imaging and single-molecule imaging. We use classical fluorescence imaging to measure the global behavior and dynamics of fluorescent proteins. However, these ensemble measurements only reflect part of the story, blurring the diversity of behaviors in one single “average” behavior. One of our favorite approaches is to measure quantitatively protein mobility and exchange rates in living embryos using single-molecule imaging. Using single-molecule imaging, we can visualize the heterogeneity of molecular behaviors, reflecting activation states, enzymatic activity, multimerization, or modes of mobility.
- Image analysis. We spend a lot of time collecting images, but we spend even more time analyzing these images, writing tailored code to extract information from the images with our favorite softwares, ImageJ and Matlab.
- Biophysics and biophysical modeling. We rely on simple biophysics and mathematical modeling to interpret our imaging data, precisely characterize the dynamics of cortical proteins, from actin concentration to elongation rates and polymer organization, in order to understand how cells function from what we can observe and quantify.
- Biochemistry. While we know quite well the repertoire of protein that bind and modulate the activity and mechanics of the cortex, we still lack quantitative measurements of protein concentration. These are critical if we are to understand how actin and myosin assemble in vivo and control cortical mechanics.
IBPS - Laboratoire de Biologie du Développement – ERL 1156
CNRS – Université Pierre et Marie Curie – Inserm
9, quai Saint-Bernard – Bât. C – 6ème Et. – Case 24 – 75252 Paris cedex 05 – France
Tel :+33 (0)1 44 27 42 41 – email : francois.robinATupmc.fr