Mechanical constraints and force transmission play an essential role in multicellular living organisms
They are regulating basic biological processes such as morphogenesis, tumor metastasis and tissue repair. Cell adhesions, coupled to the contractile cytoskeleton, are major sites of force transmission in cells. This mechanical coupling which enables cells to sense, signal, and respond to physical changes in the environment, has however been largely understudied. In this context, we are studying the cooperation between adhesion, mechanical and biochemical signaling for the adaptation of living cells to changes in their physical environment at various scales, from single molecules to tissues.
We study the molecular bases of mechanosensing and mechanotransduction at cadherin-mediated adherens junctions.
We study force sensing and mechanotransduction at integrin-mediated cell-extracellular matrix and cadherin-mediated cell-cell adhesions.
We study the collective behavior of cells in the context of tissue homeostasis but also in cell polarity and migration.
We study how differentiating epithelial cells, integrating microenvironment cues, maintain cohesion, and establish and maintain apico-basal polarity.