Examplepictures of DNA-Structures

Let's torque about sex, baby: How chiral torques break left-right symmetry


A developing organism needs axes for orientation: Where is the top, where the lower part of the body, back and front? A third axis defines where the left and the right side goes. If you look at the sirface of our body, there is a clar axis with a symetrically mirrored left and right side. However, if you look at the inside, the organs are not at all arranged in a symmetric manner. How do cells break the left-right symmetry?

The Grill Lab uncovered a novel activity of the actomyosin cortex in C. elegans at the 4-cell stage: It generates active torques, counter-rotating flows that, in a screw-like motion, facilitate symmetry breaking.

Original paper: Sundar Ram Naganathan, Sebastian Fürthauer, Masatoshi Nishikawa, Frank Jülicher, Stephan W Grill: Active torque generation by the actomyosin cell cortex drives left-right symmetry breaking, eLife, 17 December 2014

Further information

press release by Florian Frisch (MPI-CBG)

To the top of this page.