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CSB Seminar Series – Rudolf Winklbauer & Debanjan Barua – University of Toronto

January 14, 2022 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

TITLE: Cell-cell adhesion – a lesson from the Xenopus embryo

Professor Rudolf Winklbauer & Dr. Debanjan Barua
Department of Cell & Systems Biology
University of Toronto

Distinct, narrow cell contacts like cadherin-based adherens junctions or desmosomes are well studied. On the other hand, adhesive contacts characterized by wide membrane separation distances are relatively underexplored, despite their ubiquitous presence in animal tissues. Understanding the seemingly amorphous structures of such cell-cell adhesion poses yet a challenge. Here, we explore the landscape of adhesive contacts in Xenopus gastrula tissues. Prompted by the continuous, non-discrete variation of contact morphology, we use contact width spectra to analyze the roles of adhesion molecules. Currently, it is understood that cadherins are the main mediators of adhesion in these tissues. However, we find abundant contacts with intercellular distances far too wide for cadherin-cadherin binding. We show that alongside cadherins, glycocalyx-like structures and associated factors like heparan sulfate proteoglycans, fibronectin, and hyaluronic acid control contacts, and glycocalyx-mediated adhesion is essential for tissue architecture in the gastrula.

HOST: Rudolf Winklbauer

Zoom ID and passcode:


Meeting ID: 874 4742 2547

Passcode: 050579


January 14, 2022
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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