The miracle of morphogenesis, cell adhesion, polarity and cytoskeletal regulation

Published on September 29, 2008 Reviewed on May 31, 2018   43 min

Other Talks in the Category: Reproduction & Development

0:00
Hi, I'm Mark Peifer from the Department of Biology and Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. I'd like to take chance to tell you today about some of the work from our own lab, and how it fits together in the broader field of the cell biology of normal development.
0:19
Since early in my career, I've been interested in what I view as one of the most exciting topics in biology: how a fertilized egg becomes an animal, like my daughter. This is a big problem, and in order to study it in a single lab, one needs to break it down into smaller problems that one can assess experimentally. One of the problems in which my lab is interested is how cells self-assemble into tissues and organs during embryogenesis. This is a really remarkable process, as it's directed solely by the genetic information and the interactions between cells.
0:55
In order understand this process fully we need to understand how things work at every level of biological organization, from the level of the entire animal, to the level of tissue, to what happens within individual cells, and to the molecules that act within cells to mediate processes like cell adhesion and cytoskeletal regulation.
1:18
The idea that cells can specifically recognize neighbors has been around since the 1940s. At that time, Holtfreter did the experiment illustrated here. He disassociated cells from different embryonic tissues and mixed them, and found that when he did so the cells could sort out from one another, finding their correct neighbor, and sorting from the other neighbors of different tissue types. We now know this results from differential expression of cadherins in different tissues.
Hide

The miracle of morphogenesis, cell adhesion, polarity and cytoskeletal regulation

Embed in course/own notes