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The COPII coat complex mediates the formation of transport carriers at specialized sites of the endoplasmic reticulum (ERES). It consists of the Sar1p GTPase and the Sec23/24p and the Sec13/31p subcomplexes . Both stimulate the GTPase activity of Sar1p , which itself triggers coat disassembly. This built-in GAP activity makes the COPII complex in principle(More)
BACKGROUND Compartmentalization is a key feature of eukaryotic cells, but its evolution remains poorly understood. GTPases are the oldest enzymes that use nucleotides as substrates and they participate in a wide range of cellular processes. Therefore, they are ideal tools for comparative genomic studies aimed at understanding how aspects of biological(More)
Moving from cell monolayers to three-dimensional (3D) cultures is motivated by the need to work with cellular models that mimic the functions of living tissues. Essential cellular functions that are present in tissues are missed by 'petri dish'-based cell cultures. This limits their potential to predict the cellular responses of real organisms. However,(More)
The mechanics of the actin cytoskeleton have a central role in the regulation of cells and tissues, but the details of how molecular sensors recognize deformations and forces are elusive. By performing cytoskeleton laser nanosurgery in cultured epithelial cells and fibroblasts, we show that the retraction of stress fibers (SFs) is restricted to the(More)
The question as to the origin and relationship between the three domains of life is lodged in a phylogenetic impasse. The dominant paradigm is to see the three domains as separated. However, the recently characterized bacterial species have suggested continuity between the three domains. Here, we review the evidence in support of this hypothesis and(More)
Life science research focuses on deciphering the biochemical mechanisms that regulate cell proliferation and function and largely depends on the use of tissue culture methods in which cells are grown on two-dimensional hard plastic or glass surfaces. However, the flat surface of the tissue culture plate represents a poor topological approximation of the(More)
We report on the manipulation of intracellular filaments using a nanosurgery system based on a subnanosecond pulsed UV laser optimized for the localized severing of biological polymers. By inducing artificial catastrophe of selected microtubules (MTs), we perform shrinkage-rate measurements in interphase Ptk-2 cells throughout the entire cell. We quantify(More)
We designed a widefield frequency domain Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging Microscopy (FLIM)setup, which is based on a Single Plane Illumination Microscope (SPIM). A SPIM provides an inherent optical sectioning capability and reduces photobleaching compared to conventional widefield and confocal fluorescence microscopes. The lifetime precision of the FLIM was(More)
Advances in the life sciences rely on the ability to observe dynamic processes in live systems and in environments that mimic in-vivo situations. Therefore, new methodological developments have to provide environments that resemble physiologically and clinically relevant conditions as closely as possible. In this work, plasma-induced laser nanosurgery for(More)