UMR168 – Laboratoire Physico-Chimie Curie

Publications de l’UMR 168

Année de publication : 2001

P Martin, A J Hudspeth, F Jülicher (2001 Nov 29)

Comparison of a hair bundle’s spontaneous oscillations with its response to mechanical stimulation reveals the underlying active process.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America : 14380-5 En savoir plus

Hearing relies on active filtering to achieve exquisite sensitivity and sharp frequency selectivity. In a quiet environment, the ears of many vertebrates become unstable and emit one to several tones. These spontaneous otoacoustic emissions, the most striking manifestation of the inner ear’s active process, must result from self-sustained mechanical oscillations of aural constituents. The mechanoreceptive hair bundles of hair cells in the bullfrog’s sacculus have the ability to amplify mechanical stimuli and oscillate spontaneously. By comparing a hair bundle’s spontaneous oscillations with its response to small mechanical stimuli, we demonstrate a breakdown in a general principle of equilibrium thermodynamics, the fluctuation-dissipation theorem. We thus confirm that a hair bundle’s spontaneous movements are produced by energy-consuming elements within the hair cell. To characterize the dynamical behavior of the active process, we introduce an effective temperature that, for each frequency component, quantifies a hair bundle’s deviation from thermal equilibrium. The effective temperature diverges near the bundle’s frequency of spontaneous oscillation. This behavior, which is not generic for active oscillators, can be accommodated by a simple model that characterizes quantitatively the fluctuations of the spontaneous movements as well as the hair bundle’s linear response function.


Année de publication : 2000

A J Hudspeth, Y Choe, A D Mehta, P Martin (2000 Oct 26)

Putting ion channels to work: mechanoelectrical transduction, adaptation, and amplification by hair cells.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America : 11765-72 En savoir plus

As in other excitable cells, the ion channels of sensory receptors produce electrical signals that constitute the cellular response to stimulation. In photoreceptors, olfactory neurons, and some gustatory receptors, these channels essentially report the results of antecedent events in a cascade of chemical reactions. The mechanoelectrical transduction channels of hair cells, by contrast, are coupled directly to the stimulus. As a consequence, the mechanical properties of these channels shape our hearing process from the outset of transduction. Channel gating introduces nonlinearities prominent enough to be measured and even heard. Channels provide a feedback signal that controls the transducer’s adaptation to large stimuli. Finally, transduction channels participate in an amplificatory process that sensitizes and sharpens hearing.

P Martin, A D Mehta, A J Hudspeth (2000 Oct 12)

Negative hair-bundle stiffness betrays a mechanism for mechanical amplification by the hair cell.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America : 12026-31 En savoir plus

Hearing and balance rely on the ability of hair cells in the inner ear to sense miniscule mechanical stimuli. In each cell, sound or acceleration deflects the mechanosensitive hair bundle, a tuft of rigid stereocilia protruding from the cell’s apical surface. By altering the tension in gating springs linked to mechanically sensitive transduction channels, this deflection changes the channels’ open probability and elicits an electrical response. To detect weak stimuli despite energy losses caused by viscous dissipation, a hair cell can use active hair-bundle movement to amplify its mechanical inputs. This amplificatory process also yields spontaneous bundle oscillations. Using a displacement-clamp system to measure the mechanical properties of individual hair bundles from the bullfrog’s ear, we found that an oscillatory bundle displays negative slope stiffness at the heart of its region of mechanosensitivity. Offsetting the hair bundle’s position activates an adaptation process that shifts the region of negative stiffness along the displacement axis. Modeling indicates that the interplay between negative bundle stiffness and the motor responsible for mechanical adaptation produces bundle oscillation similar to that observed. Just as the negative resistance of electrically excitable cells and of tunnel diodes can be embedded in a biasing circuit to amplify electrical signals, negative stiffness can be harnessed to amplify mechanical stimuli in the ear.

C Rauch, E Farge (2000 May 29)

Endocytosis switch controlled by transmembrane osmotic pressure and phospholipid number asymmetry.

Biophysical journal : 3036-47 En savoir plus

The dynamics of endocytosis in living K562 cells was investigated after the osmotic pressure of the external medium was decreased and the transmembrane phospholipid number asymmetry was increased. When the external pressure was decreased by a factor of 0.54, a sudden inhibition of endocytosis was observed. Under these conditions, the endocytosis suddenly recovered after the phospholipid number asymmetry was increased. The phospholipid asymmetry was generated by the addition of exogenous phosphatidylserine, which is translocated by the endogenous flippase activity to the inner layer of the membrane. The recovery of endocytosis is thus consistent with the view that the phospholipid number asymmetry can act as a budding force for endocytosis. Moreover, we quantitatively predict both the inhibition and recovery of endocytosis as first-order phase transitions, using a general model that assumes the existence of a transmembrane surface tension asymmetry as the budding driving force. In this model, the tension asymmetry is considered to be elastically generated by the activity of phospholipid pumping. We finally propose that cells may trigger genetic transcription responses after the internalization of cytokine-receptor complexes, which could be controlled by variations in the cytosolic or external pressure.

V Noireaux, R M Golsteyn, E Friederich, J Prost, C Antony, D Louvard, C Sykes (2000 Feb 29)

Growing an actin gel on spherical surfaces.

Biophysical journal : 1643-54 En savoir plus

Inspired by the motility of the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes, we have experimentally studied the growth of an actin gel around spherical beads grafted with ActA, a protein known to be the promoter of bacteria movement. On ActA-grafted beads F-actin is formed in a spherical manner, whereas on the bacteria a « comet-like » tail of F-actin is produced. We show experimentally that the stationary thickness of the gel depends on the radius of the beads. Moreover, the actin gel is not formed if the ActA surface density is too low. To interpret our results, we propose a theoretical model to explain how the mechanical stress (due to spherical geometry) limits the growth of the actin gel. Our model also takes into account treadmilling of actin. We deduce from our work that the force exerted by the actin gel on the bacteria is of the order of 10 pN. Finally, we estimate from our theoretical model possible conditions for developing actin comet tails.


Année de publication : 1999

P Martin, A J Hudspeth (1999 Dec 10)

Active hair-bundle movements can amplify a hair cell’s response to oscillatory mechanical stimuli.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America : 14306-11 En savoir plus

To enhance their mechanical sensitivity and frequency selectivity, hair cells amplify the mechanical stimuli to which they respond. Although cell-body contractions of outer hair cells are thought to mediate the active process in the mammalian cochlea, vertebrates without outer hair cells display highly sensitive, sharply tuned hearing and spontaneous otoacoustic emissions. In these animals the amplifier must reside elsewhere. We report physiological evidence that amplification can stem from active movement of the hair bundle, the hair cell’s mechanosensitive organelle. We performed experiments on hair cells from the sacculus of the bullfrog. Using a two-compartment recording chamber that permits exposure of the hair cell’s apical and basolateral surfaces to different solutions, we examined active hair-bundle motion in circumstances similar to those in vivo. When the apical surface was bathed in artificial endolymph, many hair bundles exhibited spontaneous oscillations of amplitudes as great as 50 nm and frequencies in the range 5 to 40 Hz. We stimulated hair bundles with a flexible glass probe and recorded their mechanical responses with a photometric system. When the stimulus frequency lay within a band enclosing a hair cell’s frequency of spontaneous oscillation, mechanical stimuli as small as +/-5 nm entrained the hair-bundle oscillations. For small stimuli, the bundle movement was larger than the stimulus. Because the energy dissipated by viscous drag exceeded the work provided by the stimulus probe, the hair bundles powered their motion and therefore amplified it.


Année de publication : 2013

E Hannezo, J Prost, J-F Joanny (1970 Jan 1)

Growth, homeostatic regulation and stem cell dynamics in tissues.

Journal of the Royal Society, Interface / the Royal Society : 20130895 : DOI : 10.1098/rsif.2013.0895 En savoir plus

The regulation of cell growth in animal tissues is a question of critical importance: most tissues contain different types of cells in interconversion and the fraction of each type has to be controlled in a precise way, by mechanisms that remain unclear. Here, we provide a theoretical framework for the homeostasis of stem-cell-containing epithelial tissues using mechanical equations, which describe the size of the tissue and kinetic equations, which describe the interconversions of the cell populations. We show that several features, such as the evolution of stem cell fractions during intestinal development, the shape of a developing intestinal wall, as well as the increase in the proliferative compartment in cancer initiation, can be studied and understood from generic modelling which does not rely on a particular regulatory mechanism. Finally, inspired by recent experiments, we propose a model where cell division rates are regulated by the mechanical stresses in the epithelial sheet. We show that pressure-controlled growth can, in addition to the previous features, also explain with few parameters the formation of stem cell compartments as well as the morphologies observed when a colonic crypt becomes cancerous. We also discuss optimal strategies of wound healing, in connection with experiments on the cornea.