Dr Andela Šarić (UCL)
Sensing and creating mechanical forces by driven protein assemblies
Time & Location
03 Nov 2021, 10:00 am
Theory of Living Systems Webinar
About the Event
Responding to mechanical cues and producing mechanical forces is central to survival and adaptation of all organisms. To do so, cells often dynamically organise membrane-bound proteins into functional nanoscale structures that sense and produce mechanical forces. Such processes are multi-scale in nature and driven far from thermodynamic equilibrium.
Our group develops minimal coarse-grained computer models for non-equilibrium molecular organisation into functional nanomachines. Today I will discuss our research on physical modelling of cooperative gating of mechanosensitive membrane channels, and the production of mechanical forces by active elastic filaments that reshape and split cell membranes. We will provide predictions for the cooperative action of bacterial mechanosensitive channels, from molecular to cellular scales, and the function of ESCRT-III filaments in cell trafficking and division across evolution. Beyond their biological context, our findings can also guide the design of artificial structures that mechanically sculpt cells and sense forces at the nanoscale.