Living tissues have a remarkable plasticity illustrated by their capacity to regenerate and develop normal organs despite dramatic perturbations. This is based on the amazing capacity of every single cell to adapt its behavior to local information (e.g.: paracrine signal, contact dependant signaling, adhesive forces) and tissue scale information (e.g: tissue size, tissue density). Our laboratory is generally interested by the plasticity of cell behavior and more specifically by the adjustment and regulation of cell death in epitheliums. Epitheliums are two dimensional layers of adhesive cells that form barriers in the organism. Our group is currently focusing on two aspects of the regulation of cell death in epithelial context :
1. The influence of mechanical forces and cell shape on death induction in physiological and pathological contexts
2. The orchestration of epithelial cell clearance by effector caspases and the commitment to apoptosis
We use the fruitfly (Drosophila melanogaster) to tackle these questions through a combination of genetics, live imaging, quantitative image analysis, optogenetics and biophysics.