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Seb Carreno Lab

Cell Biology of Cell Division


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We are studying the molecular networks that regulate cell morphogenesis during mitosis and migration.

These two processes being critical for cancer metastasis, our research will help identify novel cellular targets to design new therapeutics against cancer.


Dividing Drosophila S2 cell expressing fluorescently labelled tubulin (green) and actin (red). Requires Flash


Our main goal is to study how the cytoskeleton remodels the cell cortex during mitosis and migration and how impairment of these functions is implicated in carcinogenesis.

The cytoskeleton is a diverse, multi-protein framework that plays fundamental roles in multiple biological processes with direct relevance to oncology, including cell division and motility. Generating one specific cell shape that promotes one specific biological function relies on local remodeling of the acto-myosin cortex controlled by polarization signals sent by the microtubule network. During mitosis, cells undergo a stereotyped series of shape transformations to achieve segregation of their cytoplasmic content and genomic material. The microtubule spindle separates the chromosomes, and is necessary to signal acto-myosin contractions at the metaphase plate. These equatorial contractions trigger formation of the cleavage furrow that achieves cytokinesis. This microtubule/acto-myosin crosstalk also regulates cell morphogenesis during cell motility. The microtubule array sends polarization signals that locally modify cell shape to control directionality of migration.

Our lab is part of the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) and is affiliated with the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology of the Faculty of Medicine at the Universite de Montreal.



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