Talk by Marcella Faria: CELL-MATRIX ADHESION COMPLEXES AND THEIR DYNAMIC ASSEMBLY: THE POETICS OF CELL ATTACHMENT

Date and time: Monday, April 27th, 11.30 am.

Location: Carlos Santamaría Building, Room B14

Speaker: Marcella Faria, Center For Applied Toxinology ,São Paulo
Title: CELL-MATRIX ADHESION COMPLEXES AND THEIR DYNAMIC ASSEMBLY: THE POETICS OF CELL ATTACHMENT

Abstract: Cell-matrix adhesion complexes (CMACs) are regions responsible for cellular attachment to the extracellular matrix (ECM), they are mainly composed by integrins, α/β heterodimers that bind selectively different ECM components through their extracellular domains acting as receptors for this class of molecules. Upon ECM binding the cytoplasmic tails of integrins will interact with a wide range of recruited factors that regulate integrin clustering in the cell membrane; and also activate signaling pathways that will provide a physical linkage between activated integrins and the microfilament system to be remodeled during cell migration. Ultimately CMACs work as functional protein networks that dynamically connect the ECM to filamentous Actin, controlling cell migration precisely through the continual rearrangement of both ECM adhesion, and Actin polymerization. In the present work we shall examine some attempts to conceptualize “cell migration” as an emergent process developed in the recent specialized literature; they introduce the notions of hierarchic organization into levels i.e. molecular, sub-cellular and cellular and describe an informational flow of increasing complexity versus decreasing number of entities, between these levels. We shall discuss few examples of CMACs remodeling in particular physiological and pathological conditions to argue that cell migration is a process that is also organized into semiotic dimensions. Our approach will not come as an alternative to the systems biology conceptualization initially presented but as a complementary view. Beyond the syntactic level – here illustrated as specific recognition of discrete ECM protein sequences by distinct integrin heterodimers – we shall reach the semantic and pragmatic levels by bringing into light the dynamics of some “word games”, i.e. Lewis Carroll’s doublets; and magic squares. In such poetic games the synthetic transformations subjected by the words have to deal with semantic rules, but are ultimately dictated by meaning, as concrete pragmatic constrains. We will emphasize the integration of synthetics, semantics and pragmatics also for the CMACs continuous remodeling through cell migration.