We are an interdisciplinary workgroup in the field of cellular biophysics. Topics of our research include the role of the cytoskeleton (especially actin and vimentin) in cell migration, - mechanics, and cellular adhesion and polarity.
The cytoskeleton in migration
What triggers migration? And how can we control and influence it? Although many parameters do play a role in the answer of such big questions, we focuss on one particular aspect: the role of cytoskeletal elements in migrating cells. We investigate the role of actin waves in erratic motion, of intermediate filaments (especially vimentin) on immune cell migration and the interplay of vimentin with actin. We are also working on the influence of extracellular cytoskeletal elements on migration.
For all migration projects, we are mainly using fluorescent live cell microscopy at different levels of resolution (epi florescence, spinning disc confocal microscopy, total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy). For immune cell migration we further need cellular environments which are confining the cells. We are realizing such environments by creating channels in 1d or by adding precise roofs on top of 2D structures. This way we can record trajectories of a high number of single cells at different resolutions for long times (up to 48hours).
Mechanical properties of cells have a high impact on cellular functions, such as the capacity to invade tissue or to migrate. We are testing the impact of cytoskeletal elements on mechanical properties, e.g. the effect of vimentin in immune cells or the presence of microtubules in microtentancles. Furthermore, we are interested in potential alterations of mechanical properties due to nanoparticles or particular chemical substances. For measuring cell mechanics, we are using different techniques depending on the state of adhesion of the cells, e.g. AFM, microfluidic devices, or rheometer.
In order to examine cellular behavior we use different types of microfabrication as well as different microscopy types (bright field microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, time lapse microscopy, super resolution techniques (e.g. TIRF, STORM, and atomic force microscopy) as well as laser techniques to investigate cellular dynamics (FRAP, Laserablation).
Vimentin Levels and Serine 71 Phosphorylation in the Control of Cell-Matrix Adhesions, Migration Speed, and Shape of Transformed Human Fibroblasts.
Terriac, E., G. Coceano, Z. Mavajian, T. A. Hageman, A. F. Christ, I. Testa, A. K. Gad, and F. Lautenschlager (2017). Cells 6(1).
Myosin II Activity softens cells in suspension.
CJ.Chan, A.Ekpenyong, S.Golfier, W.Li, K.Chalut, O.Otto, J.Elgeti, J.Guck, F. Lautenschläger (2015) Biophysical Journal 108: 1856-1869
Actin Flows Mediate a Universal Coupling between Cell Speed and Cell Persistence.
P.Maiuri, J-F Rupprecht, S.Wieser, V.Ruprecht, O.Bénichou, N.Carpi, M.Coppey, S. De Beco, N.Gov, C-P.Heisenberg, C.Lage Crespo, F.Lautenschäger, M.Le Berre, A-M.Lennon-Dumenil, M.Raab, H-R.Thiam, M.Piel, M.Sixt, R.Voituriez (2015) Cell 161(2): 374-386
Confinement in a non-adhesive environment induces fast amoeboid migration of slow mesenchymal cells.
Y-J.Liu, M. Le Berre, F.Lautenschläger, P.Maiuri, A.Callan Jones, T.Takaki, R.Voituriez and M.Piel (2015) Cell 160(4): 659-672
The regulatory role of cell mechanics for migration of differentiating myeloid cells.
F. Lautenschläger, S. Paschke, S. Schinkinger, A. Bruelle, M.Beil, J.Guck. (2009) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (37): 15696-15701.