The aim of our research group is to decipher the rich and promising interface between membrane trafficking, lipid domain remodelling, cytoskeleton polarization and cell division in eukaryotic cells.
Cell division and thus cell proliferation ultimately relies on cytokinesis, which leads to the physical separation of the two daughter cells at the end of mitosis. Defects in properly orienting the mitotic spindle and the cytokinesis plane, as well as failure in completing cytokinesis have been shown to promote tumorigenesis in vivo. In the past, we and others demonstrated through RNAi-based screens that membrane traffic is essential for the late steps of cytokinesis. This was at the time a surprise, since these two fields were considered as independent areas of cell biology.
Using live-cell imaging and advanced fluorescent microscopy, microfabrication techniques, genome-editing, high-content RNAi-based screens, analysis in human cells from patients and in mice in vivo, our lab is interested in the role of membrane trafficking in lipid and cytoskeleton remodeling at each step of animal cell division.
Our current work thus addresses how membrane traffic polarizes cell lipids and associated cytoskeletons to control cytokinesis and successful cell division in normal and pathological situations. We predict that our results are likely to be relevant beyond the fields of cell division and cancer, such as in cell migration or phagocytosis of pathogens.