Prof. Jody Rosenblatt, King's College London
Prof. Jody Rosenblatt from the Randall Centre for Cell and Molecular Biophysics at King's College London will present: "Epithelial Cell extrusion: an exciting beginning to an end"
Our lab studies how mechanics link epithelial cell death and division to maintain a functional barrier and proper cell numbers. When cells are too sparse, stretch activates cell division and when too many, crowding activates cell death by a highly conserved process her lab discovered called ‘cell extrusion’ that seamlessly squeezes live cells out that later die. Identification of the extrusion signalling pathway revealed that disruption of extrusion (rather than apoptosis) leads to a wide variety of diseases—from inflammatory diseases like asthma from too much extrusion to aggressive cancers that drive invasion when extrusion signaling is defective. Because understanding what drives extrusion is critical to disease etiologies, here, we focus on what triggers individual cells to extrude. We find that the most common cause is due to poor energy, which triggers transient cell shrinkage due to water loss and activation of voltage-gated channels. We will also show how starvation can augment this to select the most damaged cells for extrusion.