Cellular Energetics

perturbation

The thermodynamic fluxes that enable biological self-organization are maintained by metabolism. There is an interplay between these two phenomena: perturbing self-organizing structures impacts metabolism and perturbing metabolism impacts self-organizing structures. More generally, thermodynamic fluxes, from the microscopic level up to larger length scales, are responsible for all of the unusual properties of active matter. 

The core of energy metabolism consists of glycolysis, the tricarboxylic acid cycle (TCA), and electron transport chain (ETA). Each of these is composed of interconnected loops of redox reactions and metabolites. The proper balance of fluxes through these pathways is crucial for biological function, and diverse diseases are associated with metabolic defects.

We study thermodynamic and metabolic fluxes in vivo and in vitro. We are exploring the biophysics of metabolic regulation (i.e. asking what sets metabolic fluxes through different pathways) and the energetic cost of various processes (i.e. asking how inhibiting processes impacts metabolic fluxes). We are investigating the hypothesis that chromosome segregation errors in oocytes and early embryos may be caused by metabolic defects, and determining how such defects effect the spindle, chromosome segregation, and preimplantation embryo development.

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Project Members:

Xingbo

Xingbo Yang

Postdoctoral Fellow

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Marta Venturas

Marta Venturas

Graduate Student

Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

Easun Arunachalam

Easun Arunachalam

Graduate Student

Molecular and Cellular Biology

bill

Bill Ireland

Postdoctoral Fellow

Applied Physics