Light-based Observation and Control of Cellular Organization (LOCCO)

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LOCCO Team 2014


Our group aims at deciphering the interplay of physical and biological mechanisms that underlie the establishment and maintenance of the multiscale architecture of living cells. To this end, it is critical to analyze at a molecular scale the mobility of proteins and to properly account for the stochastic mechanisms that govern the behavior of individual molecules. Yet, it must be also recognized that the transfer of information, from the molecular to the cellular scale, is mediated by networks of interactions whose dynamics and organization need to be described and are largely influenced by the properties of their individual molecular constituents. 

In this context, our team develop and apply imaging assays using two complimentary approaches: (1) with single molecule imaging tools, we are probing the structural, stoechiometric and dynamic properties of macromolecular assemblies in live cells, (2) with optogenetic manipulation, we are studying the cell response to controlled perturbations, in order to decipher the molecular circuits ensuring the processing of information and decision-making events. 

Our current research is focused on the following projects:

  • New tools for super-resolution imaging : we aim to implement novel methods for single molecule detection, with a special emphasis on 3D imaging in live cells.
  • Target search of DNA binding proteins : We probe at the single molecule level the mechanisms by which DNA-binding proteins find their target site in live eukaryotic cells.
  • Magnetic manipulation of intracellular signaling : our goal is to use magnetic beads to control and manipulate signalling activity inside living cells.
  • Optogenetic control of cell polarity : we use light-based tools to control the localization and activity of molecules, in order to analyze at a systems level the processes by which cells polarize during cell migration and division.