Research Training Group 2154 - Materials for Brain

RTG Colloquium talk by Prof. Dr. Sarah Köster: From molecular interactions in protein filaments to cell mechanics

Research Group Cellular Biophysics, Institute for X-Ray Physics, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

Feb 27, 2020 from 05:00 PM to 06:00 PM

TF, Aquarium

Intermediate filaments (IFs) represent one of the three filament networks in eukar-yotic cells. Together with actin filaments and microtubules, they form the cytoskele-ton, a composite biopolymer network, whose mechanical properties are largely de-termined by the filaments themselves. In order to unravel the role of IFs on cell me-chanics, we employ biophysical methods and investigate the assembly pathway as well as the mechanical properties of individual filaments and IF network and bun-dle structures in cells. Our results indicate that the distinct hierarchical assembly pathway leads to the specific architecture of the filaments. This architecture, in turn, is likely the cause for the high flexibility and enormous extensibility of the fil-aments. In cells, IFs form networks of bundles and provide flexibility at low strains and forces, but resilience during strong impact, thereby enabling the organism to adapt to the given requirements.

Sarah Köster

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