Understanding a cell’s sense of direction
The ability of eukaryotic cells to spatially sense chemoattractant gradients and migrate towards their source (chemotaxis) is essential to the survival of many microorganisms as well as to animal development and the immune response but is incompletely understood. It remains particularly unclear how chemoattractant receptors produce highly polarized intracellular responses upon sensing a weak extracellular gradient. Using Dictyostelium discoideum as experimental model and a combination of experimental and mathematical methods, we investigate the role and regulation of the chemoattractant receptor and its coupled heterotrimeric G protein in interpreting a gradient’s direction.
Math Building, Room 402 and