Team members

Physical and Molecular Principles Governing Cytoskeletal Organization

Our goal is to understand how cytoskeletal proteins cooperate for cells to exert forces or resist mechanical stress.

The cellular cytoskeleton is composed of proteins that can polymerize in the form of tubes or filaments. These biological polymers form a dense and organized meshwork that allows cells to resist mechanical constraints, or to exert forces through the action of molecular motors or from the reorganization of these networks. The cytoskeleton is essential for many cellular functions such as migration or division.

All known living organisms have a cytoskeleton, and some polymers such as actin and microtubules are extremely conserved in eukaryotes. In mammals, many diseases and in particular certain types of cancers are related to defects of the cytoskeleton. Thus, understanding from a fundamental point of view all the subtleties of its functioning is essential to explain certain pathological cellular behaviors.

The main objective of the team is therefore to understand how the polymers of the cytoskeleton and their multiple associated regulatory proteins function together in the cell. To solve this problem, we mainly adopt a reductionist approach based on the idea that any biological process is well understood from the moment when we are able to reconstitute it from its most elementary building blocks. Our work therefore consists first of identifying key molecules through genetic and cell biology approaches. Then, the purification and biochemical analysis of these compounds allows us to predict their functions within complex molecular interaction networks. Finally, we develop a variety of biomimetic systems to reproduce and analyze the behaviors observed in the cell. This work requires a strong interdisciplinarity, at the crossroads of biology, chemistry and physics.

“The actin and the balloon”: Branched actin-based motility assay


Our last publications


of the team


They contributed to our research
Audrey Guillotin
CNRS Engineer, Grenoble
Micaela Boiero Sanders
Post-doc, Max Planck Institute, Dortmund
Adrien Antkowiak
Post-doc, University of Grenoble
Jessica Colombo
Consultant at Korner Klanik
Reda Belbahri
Engineer at Akka Technologies
Christopher Toret
Post-doc, the University of Geneva
Thomas Le Goff

Funding bodies

They support our research
Fondation Recherche Medicale