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We show that the nuclear architecture of rod photoreceptor cells differs fundamentally in nocturnal and diurnal mammals. The rods of diurnal retinas possess the conventional architecture found in nearly all eukaryotic cells, with most heterochromatin situated at the nuclear periphery and euchromatin residing toward the nuclear interior. The rods of(More)
One hundred fifty years ago glial cells were discovered as a second, non-neuronal, cell type in the central nervous system. To ascribe a function to these new, enigmatic cells, it was suggested that they either glue the neurons together (the Greek word "gammalambdaiotaalpha" means "glue") or provide a robust scaffold for them ("support cells"). Although(More)
As they enter mitosis, animal cells undergo profound actin-dependent changes in shape to become round. Here we identify the Cdk1 substrate, Ect2, as a central regulator of mitotic rounding, thus uncovering a link between the cell-cycle machinery that drives mitotic entry and its accompanying actin remodeling. Ect2 is a RhoGEF that plays a well-established(More)
The relationship between the mechanical properties of cells and their molecular architecture has been the focus of extensive research for decades. The cytoskeleton, an internal polymer network, in particular determines a cell's mechanical strength and morphology. This cytoskeleton evolves during the normal differentiation of cells, is involved in many(More)
When a dielectric object is placed between two opposed, nonfocused laser beams, the total force acting on the object is zero but the surface forces are additive, thus leading to a stretching of the object along the axis of the beams. Using this principle, we have constructed a device, called an optical stretcher, that can be used to measure the viscoelastic(More)
The mechanical properties of tissues are increasingly recognized as important cues for cell physiology and pathology. Nevertheless, there is a sparsity of quantitative, high-resolution data on mechanical properties of specific tissues. This is especially true for the central nervous system (CNS), which poses particular difficulties in terms of preparation(More)
Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are therapeutically useful cells that are typically expanded in vitro on stiff substrata before reimplantation. Here we explore MSC mechanical and structural changes via atomic force microscopy and optical stretching during extended passaging, and we demonstrate that cytoskeletal organization and mechanical stiffness of(More)
Biological cells are well known to respond to a multitude of chemical signals. In the nervous system, chemical signaling has been shown to be crucially involved in development, normal functioning, and disorders of neurons and glial cells. However, there are an increasing number of studies showing that these cells also respond to mechanical cues. Here, we(More)
Two counterpropagating laser beams were used to significantly stretch soft dielectrics such as cells. The deforming forces act on the surface between the object and the surrounding medium and are considerably higher than the trapping forces on the object. Radiation damage is avoided since a double-beam trap does not require focusing for stable trapping. Ray(More)
OBJECTIVES The HIV restriction factor, SAMHD1 (SAM domain and HD domain-containing protein 1), is a triphosphohydrolase that degrades deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates (dNTPs). Mutations in SAMHD1 cause Aicardi-Goutières syndrome (AGS), an inflammatory disorder that shares phenotypic similarity with systemic lupus erythematosus, including activation of(More)