UCL Division of Biosciences


CDB Seminar - Erik Griffin, Dartmouth College

14 July 2022, 12:00 pm–1:00 pm

Photo of Erik Griffin

Title: Patterning the cytoplasm of the early C. elegans embryo

This event is free.

Event Information

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Michael Wright – Cell and Developmental Biology

Abstract: Cell polarity is a hallmark of most cells and is the foundation for essential processes including asymmetric cell division and the formation of epithelia. To polarize, cells often rely on cellular scaffolds that restrict the localization of otherwise dynamic molecules. For example, it is known that many proteins polarize by binding to the plasma membrane/cell cortex in one half of the cell. Strikingly, relatively little is known about how asymmetries form in the cytoplasm. During the asymmetric division of the C. elegans zygote, conserved cortical polarity regulators (the PAR proteins) orchestrate a dramatic partitioning of RNA-binding proteins into opposing cytoplasmic domains. In my talk, I will present our unpublished findings that the endoplasmic reticulum is a scaffold underlying these cytoplasmic asymmetries. Additionally, I will describe the central role of PLK-1 kinase, a conserved regulator of mitotic progression, in connecting cortical polarity cues to the partitioning of the cytoplasm.

Suggested references:

Han B, Antkowiak KR, Fan X, Rutigliano M, Ryder SP, Griffin EE (2018)  Polo-like kinase couples cytoplasmic protein gradients in the C. elegans zygote. Current Biology. 28:60-69.

Wu Y, Han B, Li Y, Munro E, Odde DJ, Griffin EE (2018)  Rapid diffusion-state switching underlies stable cytoplasmic gradients in the Caenorhabditis elegans zygote. PNAS. 115(36):E8440-E8449.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://ucl.zoom.us/j/99636303435?pwd=d2YzZkdJazBPcE5yQmlhMGIzNXRvUT09

Meeting ID: 996 3630 3435 / Passcode: 492650

About the Speaker

Erik Griffin

Associate Professor at Dartmouth College

We are interested in understanding how cell identities are established during embryogenesis. Our research group studies the early development of the  C. elegans embryo using a combination of quantitative live imaging and molecular genetic approaches.

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