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Colloque Origines de la vie : auto-organisation et/ou évolution biologique ?

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The origin of order in systems of cellular fibers
François Nedelec (EMBL)

3 octobre 2008

Living cells have a system of fibers and associated proteins, called the cytoskeleton, which provides the mechanical support necessary for migration, polarization, division, etc. The fibers of the cytoskeleton can form spontaneously by self-assembly of the monomers. Moreover, multiple fibers can self-organize into higher-order structures such as the mitotic spindle. The cytoskeleton thus illustrates the way an initially uniform set of proteins can collectively generate order. We were able to reproduce some of these properties in vitro, using a limited set of components compared to the living cell. We have also developed a numerical code in which the self-organization of fibers can be recapitulated. In the presentation, we shall discuss some examples of self-organization with microtubules. We shall use simulations to see whether the combinations of properties capable of producing order could have been found by chance during evolution.

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François Nedelec François Nedelec (EMBL)
François Nedelec appartient à l’unité Cell Biology and Biophysics de l’European Molecular Biology Laboratory (Heidelberg, Allemagne).

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