Understanding mechanisms of membrane homeostasis in cells

The theme of the lab is to study how membrane homeostasis is established in cells. Membrane homeostasis ensures there is the right amount of material at the plasma membrane- such the correct "tautness" is achieved. Neither too taut - nor too lax is good. The plasma membrane undergoes incessant fluctuations closely coupled to this "excess area" and hence is "tautness" or membrane tension. Why is this important? Because much of the membrane's functions are affected and regulated by membrane tension - endocytosis (we look at its local regulation), motility (we look at collective cell migration), cell-cell fusion (we follow initial stages of myogenesis), to name a few. "Local" ? Yes. Using Interference Reflection microscopy (IRM) we map the basal membrane fluctuations and infer the tension map too - so yes - we can actually locally map tension. How bad is this - what are its limitations - read our work - and wait for more! Well - the membrane is closely linked to teh underlying actin cytoskeleton and Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) and wide-field imaging are our eyes to look deeply into fluctuations and state of actin/myosin. One of our central themes is to under mechanoprotection in cells. We sometimes hypo-osmotically shock cells, or stretch them out or de-adhere them - to impart mechanical perturbations. It is well established that the onset of mechanical perturbations triggers cellular responses - activating mechanisms that can preserve membrane homeostasis and hence its integrity. We use the different techniques to ask a repertoire of questions - all finally will end up teaching us about mechanisms of establishing membrane homeosiasis.

What’s going on:

28 January 2021: CONGRATULATIONS to Dr. Rinku Kumar for defending and earning his PhD. External: Prof. Shamik Sen, IIT, Bombay. All the best!

January 2021: New review with Arikta, Rinku now published at : Journal of the Indian Institute of Science, (), 1-15


Jan 2020: New lab member: Tanmoy - embarking on the path to PhD... welcome!

Dec 2020: Read our new preprint: Heterogenous adhesion of follower cells affects tension profile and velocity of leader cells in primary keratocyte collective cell migration. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.12.08.417063v1

June 2020: 12 June to be exact: CONGRATULATIONS Dr. Arikta Biswas - Thesis well defended. External: Prof. Thomas Pucadyil.

Feb 2020: Congratulations to Madhura for nice FlashTalk and Tithi (and Arikta) for Soft Matter Poster Prize @ International Symposium on Cell Surface Macromolecules, NCL & IISER Pune (17-21 Feb 2020)

Jan 2020: Madhavi joins lab for last additional stint for her Masters project.

Jan 2020: Happy New Year And Welcome to New Lab member: Ananya Biswas.

Dec 2019: Support promised by SERB.

Dec 2019: Madhura presents poster at FCS 2019

Aug 2019: Athil, Jeebak and Lakshmi join lab for Masters project.

26/7/19 : All the best Shruti! Also Baishali and Shibil. All 14MS from the lab have now stepped out into different exciting areas. We learnt with you. Do well.

23/7/19 : Now online : Cell spread area and traction forces determine myosin-II-based cortex thickness regulation (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamcr.2019.07.011 )

19/7/19: All the best Arikta..Pre-submission day!!!

18/7/19: CONGRATULATIONS Rinku - Manuscript on cortex thickness regulation accepted @ BBA Molecular Cell Research. Congrats to Sajjita too :)

17-20 March: BIOSCOPY 2019: We: Very busy!

15 March : IBS 2019 starts. IISER Kolkata is the host. We are busy !

14 March 2019: Congratulations Arikta - Manuscript on cholesterol depletion accepted @ Biophysical Journal. Congrats to all - Purba, Sanchari, Titas :)

August 2018: Tithi joins lab.

March 2018: Moving to new lab.

Feb 2018: Work of Arikta, Purba, Sanchari, Titas on cell rupturing and the role of cholesterol in membrane tension now on Bioarchives: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/02/12/264036

Jan2018: Rinku successfully performs traction stress microscopy.

Jan. 2018: New member joins our lab. Welcome Raju Sarkar. Madhura joins the IISER PhD program :)

Oct. 2017: This is the preprint of the Cortex-thickness-work: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2017/10/18/205138

Oct. 2017: Lab Poster Study of Mechanics of Plasma Membrane and Actin Cytoskeleton - Arikta Biswas*, Rinku Kumar*, Kishan, Bidisha Sinha} gets 2nd prize in IISF 2017.

Oct. 2017: Check out the Fluctuation-paper: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bpj.2017.08.041

Sept. 2017: Baishali’s successful in getting a colony of keratocytes from American Cichlids !

Sept. 2017: Arikta’s (and Amal’s) paper has been accepted for publication in Biophys J – Congrats!

June 2017: Vikash gets the Best Masters' thesis Award ! Congrats!