The Department of Biomedicine

BBB seminar: Michel Bornens

Adhesive control of cell polarity and division axis in cultured cells

Michel Bornens
Curie Institute, CNRS, Paris Cedex, France

We will present recent data obtained with a novel approach to control internal organization and polarity of individual adherent cells in culture. Using micro-contact printing to impose adhesive micro-patterns, we reduced the proper adhesive surfaces for a given convex envelope in order to impose more stringent adhesive conditions than a fully adhesive pattern with the same outline. These micro-patterns make individual non-migrating cells spread over adhesive- and non adhesive zones. We will show that cells under these conditions, like in tissues, present a highly reproducible response when constrained by such stringent boundary conditions, as judged by the polarized organization of their internal compartments. Moreover, they divide in a predictable manner. Importantly, the reproducible effect on overall cell compartmentalization and division enabled quantitative analysis since micro-patterned coverslips allow the easy automation of image acquisition. This allows a phenotypic analysis of cultured cells with an unprecedented resolution, and should also make the technique useful for exploitation of high-throughput screens of genes or drugs affecting cell activity.

Host: Jaakko Saraste, Department of Biomedicine

Michel Bornens

Michel Bornens received his PhD at Université de Paris, France, on the isolation and biochemical analysis of the lipid composition of the nuclear envelope isolated from rat hepatocytes. During his postdoctoral training at the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, he investigated the protein composition of the rat liver nuclear envelope. From 1973 to 1982, he worked at the Département de Biologie Moléculaire de l'Institut Pasteur in Paris on heparin-induced solubilisation of chromatin and blastogenesis induced by lectins in rat thymocytes. Ever since, his research has mainly dealt with the cytoskeleton, first at the Centre de Génétique Moléculaire, CNRS, in Gif-sur-Yvette, France, and the last ten years at UMR 144 CNRS at Institut Curie in Paris, where he is heading the research group ”Biology of Cell Cycle and Cell Motility”.

Michel Bornens' major research interest is the role of the centrosome-microtubule system in animal cells, in particular in the definition and maintenance of cell polarity during migration, and the progression and control of the cell division cycle. Current experimental efforts of his group deal with: 1) Structural and biochemical characterisation of centrosomes isolated from human cells; 2) Studies of the centrosome duplication mechanism using both the centrosome-induced parthenogenetic assay in Xenopus and molecular approaches in mammalian cells; 3) Coupling between centrosome duplication and the progression of the cell cycle; 4) Characterisation of components involved in the interaction between the Golgi apparatus and the centrosome-microtubule system; 5) Role of cell adhesion in the orientation of the mitotic spindle.

Selected recent publications:
Piel M, Meyer P, Khodjakov A, Rieder C, Bornens M (2000). The respective contributions of the mother and daughter centrioles to centrosome activity and behaviour in vertebrate cells. J. Cell Biol. 149, 317-29.
Piel M, Nordberg J, Euteneuer U, Bornens M (2001). Centrosome-dependent exit of cytokinesis in animal cells. Science 291, 1550-53.
Rios RM, Sanchis A, Tassin AM, Fedriani C, Bornens M (2004) GMAP-210 recruits gamma-tubulin complexes to cis-Golgi membranes and is required for Golgi ribbon formation. Cell 118, 323-35.
Thery M, Racine V, Pepin A, Piel M, Chen Y, Sibarita JB, Bornens M (2005). The extracellular matrix guides the orientation of the cell division axis. Nature Cell Biol. 10, 947-53.

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