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BACKGROUND Cytokinesis in bacteria is mediated by a cytokinetic ring, termed the Z ring, which forms a scaffold for recruitment of other cell-division proteins. The Z ring is composed of FtsZ filaments, but their organization in the Z ring is poorly understood. In Escherichia coli, the Min system contributes to the spatial regulation of cytokinesis by(More)
The life cycle of bacterial cells consists of repeated elongation, septum formation, and division. Before septum formation, a division ring called the Z-ring, which is made of a filamentous tubulin analog, FtsZ, is seen at the mid cell. Together with several other proteins, FtsZ is essential for cell division. Visualization of strains with GFP-labeled FtsZ(More)
To generate cellular diversity in developing organisms while simultaneously maintaining the developmental potential of the germline, germ cells must be able to preferentially endow germline daughter cells with a cytoplasmic portion containing specialized cell fate determinants not inherited by somatic cells. In Caenorhabditis elegans, germline inheritance(More)
Motile cells explore their surrounding milieu by extending thin dynamic protrusions, or filopodia. The growth of filopodia is driven by actin filament bundles that polymerize underneath the cell membrane. We compute the mechanical and dynamical features of the protrusion growth process by explicitly incorporating the flexible plasma membrane. We find that a(More)
Myosin-V is an actin-associated processive molecular motor. Single molecule experiments revealed that myosin-V walks in a stepwise fashion with occasional backward steps. By combining the mechanical structure of the motor with the ATP hydrolysis kinetics, we construct a dynamical model that accounts for the stepwise processivity. The molecular properties of(More)
A combination of physical and chemical processes is involved in determining the bacterial cell shape. In standard medium, Escherichia coli cells are rod-shaped, and maintain a constant diameter during exponential growth. Here, we demonstrate that by applying compressive forces to growing E. coli, cells no longer retain their rod-like shapes but grow and(More)
The ability for cells to sense and adapt to different physical microenvironments plays a critical role in development, immune responses, and cancer metastasis. Here we identify a small subset of focal adhesions that terminate fibers in the actin cap, a highly ordered filamentous actin structure that is anchored to the top of the nucleus by the LINC(More)
Einstein's original description of Brownian motion established a direct relationship between thermally-excited random forces and the transport properties of a submicron particle in a viscous liquid. Recent work based on reconstituted actin filament networks suggests that nonthermal forces driven by the motor protein myosin II can induce large(More)
In cardiac ventricular myocytes, events crucial to excitation-contraction coupling take place in spatially restricted microdomains known as dyads. The movement and dynamics of calcium (Ca2+) ions in the dyad have often been described by assigning continuously valued Ca2+ concentrations to one or more dyadic compartments. However, even at its peak, the(More)
Specification of germline and somatic cell lineages in C. elegans originates in the polarized single-cell zygote. Several cell-fate determinants are partitioned unequally along the anterior-posterior axis of the zygote, ensuring the daughter cells a unique inheritance upon asymmetric cell division. Recent studies have revealed that partitioning of the(More)