Sibling cell size asymmetry

Asymmetric cell division can be manifested in the formation of different sized sibling cells. How this form of physical asymmetry is generated and what it is used for is unclear.

 

Drosophila melanogaster neuroblasts, neural stem cells in the developing fly brain, provide an ideal model system to investigate the mechanisms and function of sibling cell size asymmetry. Dividing neuroblasts generate a small differentiating Ganglion Mother Cell (GMC), while forming a large, self-renewed neuroblast.

 

We are interested in understanding how the spatiotemporal information provided by neuroblast intrinsic polarity cues regulates cytoskeletal dynamics, necessary for the formation of sibling cell size asymmetry. Furthermore, we are investigating how sibling cell size asymmetry affects cell fate, cell behavior and thus brain development.

 

To address these questions, we combine forward and reverse genetics with advanced live cell imaging methods (FRAP, FRET, photoactivation), optogenetics and laser ablation.

Check out our publications to learn more about sibling cell size asymmetry.

Cabernard lab | August 2017 | Photo credits: Mark Stone, Lisa Tran, Cabernard lab

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