Dominic will join us as an ICN PhD program laureate

We had the chance of having Dominic Bingham, currently a Master’s student in Alison Twelvetree’s lab in Sheffield, apply for a PhD in the lab through the “Integrative and Clinical Neuroscience” PhD program. Congratulation to Dominic who succeeded to be one of the three laureates this year! We can’t wait to have him the lab where he will study the organization of presynaptic actin. Thanks also to the Aix-Marseille University A*MIDEX which is funding the PhD program.

Christophe talks at the French Cell Adhesion Club meeting in Strasbourg

It was a pleasure to present at the 7th Cell Adhesion Club Meeting in Strasbourg. After three fascinating days hearing about cell adhesion and related cell biological processes by top scientists of the field, it was very interesting to see how key tools and concepts can also inform cellular neurobiology. See the #Stradh18 Twitter hashtag for more, thanks to @GoetzJacky for the invite!

photo @XavierTrepat
photo @christlet

Just published: our review on the architecture of axonal actin

Marie-Jeanne and Christophe wrote a review detailing how recent discoveries renewed the understanding of axonal actin organization. In the axon shaft itself, new nano-structures such as rings, hotspots and trails have been described, but their function remains to be elucidated. At presynapses, the precise architecture of actin is still elusive, and contradicting findings have been reported regarding its function. This is an exciting time to study actin in axons!

The review is now published in Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, and will be part of a special issue on “Membrane Trafficking and Cytoskeletal Dynamics in Neuronal Function”. If you don’t have access to the review, a preprint manuscript is available on Zenodo.

Fig.2 from Papandreou & Leterrier 2018

New preprint: Pumpy is here!

Together with the he lab of Ricardo Henriques, we’re finally ready to present #Pumpy to the world, in the form of a preprint on bioRxiv!

Pumpy (short for Pumpy McPumpface, official name NanoJ-Fluidics) is a pump array made in LEGO, controlled by an Arduino and open-source software (compatible with ImageJ/Fiji and Micro-Manager). NanoJ-Fluidics automates sample fluid exchange right on the microscope stage, allowing complex workflows using your standard chambers, tubing and reagents: live-to-fixed correlative imaging, sequential staining/imaging/washing protocols…

In one application,  we used NanoJ-Fluidics to visualize the dynamics of actin in living cells (using SRRF super-resolved processing), and to perform nanoscale imaging of actin using STORM on the same cell after online fixation and labeling with phalloidin.

 

We also used NanoJ-Fluidics for sequential multiplexed STORM/PAINT imaging, and we obtained 5-channel super-resolved images of actin, intermediate filaments, microtubules, clathrin and mitochondria in cells with minimal intervention during imaging.

 

If you are interested in making your own, head over to the NanoJ-Fluidics wiki where you will find everything:  LEGO parts, assembly instructions, control software and more!

Christophe presents at the École des Houches BIOPOL summer school

Christophe gave a conference on “The neuronal cytoskeleton revealed by cellular imaging” at the “Mechanobiology of polarized cell” summer school at the Ecole de Physique des Houches (in front of the Mont-Blanc!). This was organized by the PhD students of the Marie Curie Sklodowska International Training Network “Biochemical and mechanochemical signaling in polarized cells” (BIOPOL). A good occasion to present what super-resolution microscopy can reveal about polarized cells organization, and discuss about the mechanical implications of the axonal cytoskeleton architecture. See more from the #mechanopol18 hashtag on twitter.

The Mont-Blanc viewed from Les Houches
photo @christlet
photo @Leda_LCR