Prof. Anđela Šarić - Institute of Science and Technology Austria
Modelling cell membrane reshaping across evolution
The molecular machinery of life is largely created via self-organisation of individual molecules into functional larger-scaled structures. Such processes are multi-scale in nature and constantly driven far from thermodynamic equilibrium. Our group develops minimal coarse-grained computer models for non-equilibrium organisation of macromolecules into functional nanomachines, which can produce mechanical work needed for cell sculpting.
Today I will discuss our recent research on physical modelling of composite active elastic ESCRT-III filaments that dynamically shift their geometries and mechanical properties to reshape and cut cell membranes. I will first present our model in the context of eukaryotic cell trafficking, supported by experimental data [1-2]. Then I will discuss the evolutionary origins of this physical mechanism and its role in cell division in the archaeal branch of the tree of life . I will show quantitative comparison between live cell imaging of dividing archaeal cells and our simulations of the whole cell division process . I will finish with our recent efforts in artificially evolving assemblies that efficiently cross cell membranes.
 L. Harker-Kirshneck et al., BMC Biology 17, 1-8 (2019).
 A. K. Pfitzner et al., Cell 182, 1140 (2020)
 G. T. Risa et al., Science 369, 6504 (2020).
 L. Harker-Kirshneck et al., PNAS 119, e2107763119 (2022).
 J. C. Forster et al., Phys Rev Lett 125 (22), 228101 (2020).
Andela received her PhD from Columbia University in New York in 2013, after which she moved onto a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge, where she was also a Research Fellow of Emmanuel College. She is currently a Group Leader in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at University College London, UK and the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (ISTA). She can be found on Twitter @SaricLab.
Zoom Meeting: https://tuwien.zoom.us/j/98653341685?pwd=VWk1aU1rblhLejF3cVN2K0cwUlBGZz09
Meeting ID: 986 5334 1685